SheWired, an entertainment news source for queer women, shuttered less than a year after I wrote this piece. All articles on SheWired.com were transferred to Pride.com under the tag #Women (both sites share the same parent company, Pride Media). This piece appeared on She Wired in November 2015.
WATCH: Ruby Rose Is GQ Australia's 'Woman of the Year'
Model, DJ, and actor Ruby Rose was just awarded Woman of the Year by GQ Australia. The award comes after a huge year for her. The star has become a favorite on the hit Netflix series Orange Is The New Black and hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards in Milan last month alongside Ed Sheeran.
At the GQ ceremony, Rose dedicated her award to her friend Courtney who was sitting in the audience. Rose described Courtney as her "rock" during the star's intense past year—and apparently Courtney almost didn't show. “I had to lie to her and tell her that it wasn’t a black tie event or she wouldn’t come,” Rose said.
Rose told the audience that Courtney's mom recently passed away from breast cancer. During her short but emotional speech, Rose said that Courtney "never asked 'why me'" during that painful period. "That's my idea of a strong woman," she said.
Rose used the award to call attention to breast cancer. According to the international World Cancer Research Fund, Australia is seventeenth in the world for highest rates of breast cancer.
But that's not the only issue the 29-year-old star raised. Following the award ceremony, a reporter for GQ asked her what she hopes to see happen in Australia in the future.
"Obviously one of the huge things is that everywhere I go in the world, same-sex couples can get married. Literally every single state in America now, which is kind of crazy when you think about places like Melbourne and Sydney that are very liberal, free, and open and yet, you can't get married," she said. "That's still one of the things I'm so confused by."
At the event, Rose told The Daily Telegraph that she felt "hated" when she left Australia (the ceremony marked the first time she had been back in eight months) and she felt her move to America had been necessary. She returned to her home shores this time with with her fiancee, designer Phoebe Dahl. After a short dating period, the two became engaged last year.
Dahl told the Telegraph that she was using the trip to learn more about her fiancee. "I love being able to come back and see where Ruby is from and see her heritage,” she said.
Check out Ruby Rose's acceptance speech here.