A close and compelling look into the storied career, politics, and personal life of trailblazing movie star Katharine Hepburn.
Rumors about her sexuality persisted throughout Hepburn's life and, while we can't make a definitive statement, even she'd admit she had little use for gender norms.
From her intimate friendships women to her physicality and forthrightness—even her film choices and wardrobe—Kate was a queer icon before the term was even coined. Hepburn took up acting at the all-girl's college in 1927, when she was cast in the male role of Oliver in The Truth About Blayds. To butch up for the part, she cut her hair with fingernail scissors. After receiving a review that called her “an engaging boy, roguish and merry," she put on a pair of white trousers and a blazer and took gal pal (and rumored lover) Alice Palache out on the town. The duo were caught on their way home, and warned not to not leave campus again.
This 1932 play was another early gender-bending role for Hepburn, who played Amazon champion Antiope in a world where women were the fighters and men stayed home and took care of the children. In her second film, directed by out lesbian filmmaker Dorothy Arzner, Hepburn played a female aviator. Lady Cynthia Darrington has never been in love before and her on-screen romance with a man doesn’t have a happy ending—a recurring motif in Hepburn's roles.
Check out more about her in this great series.