Was anybody really surprised when Miley Cyrus announced that she self-identified as pansexual? She's been seen in the media repeatedly in the company of both male and female partners, and by announcing her pansexuality, she is really just adding another layer to her sexual orientation. It's actually a very positive move on Miley Cyrus's part, because it is bringing some much needed awareness to the term "sexual fluidity."
Eric Sasson from the Wall Street Journal refers to Miley Cyrus and other celebrities' sexual identifications as the "rise of sexual fluidity," but is rise really the right term to use? Sexual fluidity is not a sudden phenomenon, and scholars have been questioning gender and sexual preference for decades, with studies dating back to the 1940s and 50s. Remember the Kinsey scale? Granted even that is oversimplifying and restricting sexual preference to a linear measurement. Rather, sexuality should be viewed as a dynamic phenomenon. According to a statement in the Huffington Post, "sexual fluidity is the notion that sexuality is not fixed." And let's face it -- people's minds and hearts change.
Miley Cyrus is also quite the ally and advocate for queer youth. Her organization called The Happy Hippie Foundation is dedicated to providing assistance and guidance to LGBTQ youth struggling with homelessness. Miley has also stated that she knew at the age of 14 that she was not solely interested in the opposite sex.
"I remember telling her I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said, I love them. I love them like I love boys. And it was so hard for her to understand. She didn't want me to be judged and she didn't want me to go to hell. But she believes in me more than she believes in any god. I just asked for her to accept me. And she has."Miley's self-confidence is the fueling fire for her success as an artist, and as an avid spokesperson for queer youth. She is not the only celebrity figure who is bringing awareness to terms like "pansexual" and "sexual fluidity," however. Recently Johnny Depp's daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, came out as pansexual via her Instagram account. Lily-Rose, is only 16-years-old and is proving to be quite the ally for the LGBTQ community as well. Her new project, entitled the Self Evident Truths Project, for which the goal is, "to help young people feel good being true to themselves," is a photographic document of 10,000 people in the USA that identify as anything other than 100 percent straight.
It's unfortunate that it often takes a celebrity icon to bring focus to this kind of topic, but as more and more people self-identify as queer, society will hopefully become more accepting of those who do not restrict their sexual preferences to a certain gender.
[Image by Getty Images]