Illustration of Kristen Stewart with fiancée Dylan Meyer.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community are wondering how media coverage can help with representation as Kristen Stewart announced her engagement to screenwriter Dylan Meyer. (Illustration by Leigh Desorcy, Montserrat College of Art)

Kristen Stewart’s Engagement and ‘Celesbian’ Visibility

The ‘Twilight’ actress is set to marry screenwriter Dylan Meyer, prompting the question: How can the media help with LGBTQ+ visibility?

Thoughts x
Illustration of Kristen Stewart with fiancée Dylan Meyer.

The ‘Twilight’ actress is set to marry screenwriter Dylan Meyer, prompting the question: How can the media help with LGBTQ+ visibility?

Kristen Stewart became a prominent queer woman in Hollywood long before she starred in (in)famous 2020 lesbian Christmas rom-com “Happiest Season.” The “Twilight” star’s dating history became a topic of speculation when she began dating co-star Robert Pattinson in 2008. Following Stewart’s cheating scandal with “Snow White and the Huntsman” director Rupert Sanders, the pair’s breakup hit the front page of every 2012 gossip column. Public response arose from even the most bizarre figures, like the then-reality television star Donald Trump, who tweeted, “Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart” and “He can do much better!”

In 2017, she acknowledged the then-president’s obsession with her dating life in her “Saturday Night Live” monologue, joking, “I’m a little nervous to be hosting because I know the president’s probably watching, and I don’t think he likes me that much,” Stewart said. “So, yeah, that’s crazy, right? The president is not a huge fan of me. But that is so okay. And Donald, if you didn’t like me then you probably really aren’t going to like me now, because I’m hosting SNL and I’m, like, so gay, dude.”

New Fiancee, Dylan Meyer

“K.Stew” has been publicly “so gay” for years now, dating illustrious WLW figures from popular singer St. Vincent to French musician SoKo to supermodel Stella Maxwell. In August 2019, Stewart was seen out with Dylan Meyer, the screenwriter for films like Netflix’s “Moxie.” Stewart said the two met six years prior on a movie set and were reunited at a mutual friend’s party.

Just three months into their relationship, the “Spencer” star told Howard Stern’s Sirius XM radio show that she is in love and “can’f f—ing wait” to propose. Before meeting Meyer, Stewart admitted that marriage had not appealed to her, but she also expressed that not “all bets are off.”

“I want to be, like, sort of somewhat reasonable about it, but I think good things happen fast,” the 29-year-old said. She also alluded to her own proposal plans in the works, saying, “I have a couple plans that are just the coolest things to do. I’m really impulsive. I don’t know when it’s going to be.” Two years later, the two are officially engaged, and everyone, especially Stewart, is thrilled. As it turned out, Meyer popped the question months ago. Stewart gushed on a recent visit to “The Howard Stern Show,” saying Meyer “nailed it” on the proposal. The “Charlie’s Angels” star told Jimmy Fallon, “I scored.”

Meyer seems just as stoked as Stewart for their impending nuptials and took her turn gushing about the actor in an April 2020 Instagram post, saying, “It’s my absolute favorite persons birthday and I’m wishing everyone the volume of beautiful feeling I feel toward her. It’s a short ride on this earth, spend your time with someone that inspires you to be the best version of yourself and lights your s— on fire.”

 

“Celesbian” Visibility

While Stewart has called the issue of sexuality “so grey,” she has also grown into her celebrity LGBTQ+ “role model” status with grace. She told The Guardian, “I’m just trying to acknowledge that fluidity, that greyness, which has always existed. But maybe only now are we allowed to start talking about it.” She also said, “I think things are changing. I mean, I don’t think I would have approached my life differently if that hadn’t been the case. But who knows? Individually we are all part of that change and so I can take some credit for it, I guess — there’s no reason why I should shy away from that. But all the prejudice; it’s going for sure.”

Part of the cultural shift toward queer acceptance involves highly visible figures, such as Stewart and Meyer. Representation matters — both on and off screen. Hollywood needs queer actors to act in and tell stories that provide positive visibility for young LGBTQ+ people. And there may be opportunities for more representation in our social media-dominated age where celebrities reign supreme in the public imagination. The “culture of celebrity” has been thoroughly bashed for its more harmful effects, but cases like this show the potential for positivity.

K.Stew has described herself as sexually fluid. In a 2015 Nylon cover story interview, she said, “I think in three or four years, there are going to be a whole lot more people who don’t think it’s necessary to figure out if you’re gay or straight. It’s, like, just do your thing.” Her comments act as reminders to examine one’s personal understanding of sexual fluidity and bisexuality. Nevertheless, her relationship with Meyer places Stewart among the hallowed halls of other famous celebrity lesbian, or “celesbian,” couples who have married, including Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi, Jodie Foster and Alexandra Hedison, Chely Wright and Lauren Blitzer, and Wanda Sykes and Alex Sykes. All of these couples provide opportunities for young queer people, especially oft-neglected queer women, to see themselves and a potential future reflected in the media.

In a culture reluctant to give queer people happy endings, it is up to not only aspiring, groundbreaking creators, but also real-life people to show what a happy gay future might look like. The legalization of gay marriage across the United States occurred only six years ago, and it’s easy to forget the recency of such a possibility. For a lesbian or bi woman, seeing something as simple as a woman marrying another woman can mean the difference between hope and despair, life and death.

The media has obsessed over K.Stew’s dating history since her overnight “Twilight” fame and success. Hopefully, the coverage of Stewart and Meyer’s relationship can serve a purpose beyond satisfying sheer public curiosity; and hopefully, the pair’s happily-ever-after can help inspire those trying to envision a future for themselves where they are free to love who they want without sacrificing the more traditional conventions they may crave.

Writer Profile

Virginia Laurie

Washington and Lee University
English

Virginia Laurie is an English major at Washington and Lee who enjoys reading, watching movies and making art. A pescatarian and cat person, she hopes to continue a career in writing.

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