Tilda Swinton has been an endlessly interesting figure over the span of her career. She has made it a habit, both on screen and off, to represent something other than the stereotypical Hollywood star, and it's certainly something we've enjoyed. She's played with gender and artifice. And in a new interview for British Vogue, the actor gives a little context as to why: it's because she has always consider herself queer.
“I’m very clear that queer is actually, for me anyway, to do with sensibility," she told the history-making Out100 2019 cover star Jeremy O. Harris. " I always felt I was queer — I was just looking for my queer circus, and I found it. And having found it, it’s my world. Now I have a family with Wes Anderson, I have a family with Bong Joon-ho, I have a family with Jim Jarmusch, I have a family with Luca Guadagnino, with Lynne Ramsay, with Joanna Hogg.”
Many people see queer as not only an umbrella term for sexualities, but also a specific worldview. This has led some to disavow terms like "gay" given the sort of "homonormativity" that has arisen within the community, and instead identify as queer. Today, queerness is still almost inextricably linked with sexuality but in decades past, it has been less so. It was seen, by some, as simply alternative point of view.
Of course, Swinton certainly has longstanding relationships with folks for whom queerness is sexuality-based like Guadagnino, as well as the late Derek Jarman and the late Karl Lagefeld.
“I did have this beautiful connection with Karl Largerfeld, which was kind of mysterious to me because I was a jumbo shrimp, as my friend once called me, and he was working in this whole different exotic empire," Swinton said. "That’s what brought me into my relationship with Chanel, which continues to be really inspiring for me.”