Voices: No, dating non-binary rapper G Flip doesn’t make Chrishell Stause a lesbian. Here’s why

·4-min read

Just five months after breaking up with boss Jason Oppenheim — she wants kids and he’s not ready, she explained last DecemberSelling Sunset star Chrishell Stause, 40, took advantage of the show’s Season Five reunion, which aired on Netflix last night, to confirm rumors that she’s in a relationship and “happier than [she’s] ever been” with the Australian rapper known as G Flip.

Many fans and commentators, eager to keep things nicely labeled and properly filed away, are confused as to what this might mean about Stause’s sexuality. Twenty-seven-year-old G Flip, born Georgia Flipo, was assigned female at birth (AFAB) and publicly identified as a lesbian before coming out as non-binary on Instagram in June of last year. This means that although they don’t fully or exclusively identify as female, they don’t necessarily identify as male either — in contrast with, say, actors Chaz Bono and Elliot Page, who were also AFAB but have since transitioned to live in accordance with their male gender. Since many people struggle to understand non-binary gender identities, it can be helpful to see the term as an “anti-label.” This is who I am not, it announces. If you’d like to know more about who I am then just ask.

While G Flip theirself hasn’t gone into a lot of detail about how they do experience gender, they have dropped some clues. “I’m still the exact same person,” they wrote in the now-removed coming-out post. “Non-binary is just the best way to explain who I am and how I’ve always felt, like a gender smoothie.” Some non-binary people may experience gender as tending more or less toward one side of the male/female binary; others may experience those or other genders equally, cyclically, neutrally, or not at all.

“If strawberries were girls and blueberries were boys and you put them in a blender, you’d get a gender smoothie. I am a gender smoothie,” G Flip elaborated last week, seeming to indicate that their gender experience is multifaceted and complex, encompassing elements of masculinity, femininity, and possibly even neutrality. And though it may confuse some, their largely femme appearance doesn’t nullify their non-binary identity or make them a cisgender woman any more than wearing a skirt to the Met Gala makes Jared Leto transgender.

G Flip’s hot single, “Gay 4 Me,” released in February of this year, may be adding to the confusion. How can a woman be “gay for” someone who isn’t actually a woman? I’d argue that that’s the point. Putting the listener in the position where they must grapple with questions like this only enhances the song’s internal logic and tension. The song isn’t only exploring the emotional toll it takes on the other party when someone is “experimenting” with their sexuality, but how an experimenter’s ignorance of the LGBTQIA+ community can complicate things even further. Non-binary people struggle with widespread misunderstanding of their gender experiences and expressions, and G Flip taps seamlessly into the resulting exasperation.

Stause, for her part, acquiesces that while it may seem complex on the surface, she isn’t confused at all. “Nothing’s really changed for me,” she told reunion moderator and Queer Eye star, Tan France. “I’m still very attracted to masculine energy and a good human.” Ultimately, Stause is the only one qualified to define her own sexuality, and speculation could be considered homophobic.

Gender aside, some may argue that moving in a much-younger musician known for their sexually explicit lyrics and involvement in the international party scene seems “off-brand” for Stause, who generally exudes red-carpet refinement. I disagree. It’s true that we’re increasingly able to curate and filter our potential dating pool down to the sort of details we might have saved for the third date a couple of decades ago, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. It’s also true, for instance, that online and dating-app marriages are still more likely to end in divorce than those between people who are introduced in person. Maybe there’s just something to be said for a good old-fashioned case of falling for the one nobody saw coming.