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Cara Delevingne's Vogue Cover Story Incites Backlash from LGBT Community

Vogue
Cara Delevingne on 'Vogue's' July 2015 issue.

An online petition demanding that the mag apologize for referencing Delevingne's queer identity as a "phase" has gathered more than 13,000 signatures.

Cara Delevingne's Vogue interview for the July 2015 issue was — in true Cara style — extremely candid. In it, writer Rob Haskell delves into subjects including her mother's substance abuse, her own partying ways and her sexuality. However it was the frank conversation about Delevingne's sexual history, including past relationships as well as her current relationship with girlfriend Annie Clark (who also goes by her musical moniker, St. Vincent), that incited a rise in the LGBT community for Haskell's word choice regarding the sensitive subject matter, specifically an instance where he referenced Delevingne's identity as a "phase."

Julie Rodriguez, who self-identifies as bisexual, began a petition on Care2.org entitled, "Tell Vogue Magazine: Being LGBT Isn't a 'Phase'!" As of 11 a.m. PT on Thursday, the petition had already garnered more than 13,000 digital signatures.

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At issue for Rodriguez and those who have since signed the petition is one sentence in particular in which Haskell writes, "Her parents seem to think girls are just a phase for Cara, and they may be correct."

An excerpt reads:

Cara says she felt confused by her sexuality as a child, and the possibility of being gay frightened her. “It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognized that I had to accept it,” she explains. “But I have erotic dreams only about men. I had one two nights ago where I went up to a guy in the back of a VW minivan, with a bunch of his friends around him, and pretty much jumped him.” Her parents seem to think girls are just a phase for Cara, and they may be correct. “Women are what completely inspire me, and they have also been my downfall. I have only been hurt by women, my mother first of all.

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The sentence was written within the context of Delevingne's own admission of an intense attraction toward men as well as her tumultuous relationship with her mother, which she recounts may have played a part in the development of her deep insecurities. However, Rodriguez states that any reference to a woman's queer identity as a "phase" can not only damage relationships but also cause severe psychological consequences, calling such language "dismissive and demeaning." The petition is therefore demanding an apology from Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour for greenlighting the "insensitive and offensive interview."

Several signatories have left comments asking that Vogue apologize for publishing a piece that "perpetuates stereotypes" about the LGBT community. "Dear Vogue," reads one comment, "I have been in a queer 'phase' for the entire 50 years of my life. And I would have thought that you would know better than to perpetuate such dismissive, demeaning, and harmful stereotypes. I am deeply disappointed and believe a full, prominent apology is the very least that you can do for your readership."

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