Calling Rowan Blanchard queer or gay would probably not be accurate since there is a certain fluidity to her answers. When the Girl Meets World star came out as queer earlier in 2016, she made it clear she has only ever had an interest in boys, but at the same time she does not want her sexuality to be defined precisely. This vague answer did not sit well with some fans, but Blanchard apparently wants to be known as gender fluid, even though she herself is not using that precise label.
Originally, the term LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) was used to refer to the community as a whole, but this term was extended to LGBTQ with the addition of queer. Starting in 2014, it became popular to instead start using LGBTQ+, since the plus denoted a long list of related designations, including gender fluid, asexual, pansexual, transsexual, intersex, and many more.
The term gender fluid has come to prominence in recent years, largely due to celebrities like Miley Cyrus and Jaden Smith. The basic concept is that those who self-identify as gender fluid do not be wish to be defined in binary terms. The reason for the fluidity is because their gender identity can supposedly vary at random based upon events in response to external circumstances.
This method of self identification has led to Jaden wearing dresses to major events, while Cyrus started the Happy Hippie Foundation to help those who identify themselves similarly.
"My whole life, I was led to believe that there was were only two genders. I thought I had to shrink myself to fit into a box that was never going to contain me," Miley said on Instagram. "It took years for me to find words for my gender identity, and to feel comfortable expressing myself as I am."
At only 14-years-old, Rowan Blanchard is the newest celebrity to identify with Miley's thoughts on the matter. Back in January, she posted this message on Twitter.
"In my life – only ever liked boys. However I personally don't wanna label myself as straight, gay or whateva so I am not gonna give myself labels to stick with just existing," she tweeted.
Some fans supported Blanchard for making this public announcement, but others attacked her for not identifying with a specific label. When one user asked her to specify exactly why she called herself queer, she responded, "Yes. Open to liking any gender in future is why I identify as queer."
In a recent interview with Wonderland Magazine, Blanchard said the backlash surprised her to a certain extent.
"I'm okay with it now, but I still realize that I was allowing people to comment on something that's very personal. The first day I tweeted about it, it was definitely scary to see people commenting about things that literally have nothing to do with them," she said.
Rowan describes how her mother originally started using Twitter and Instagram on her behalf at age nine, but it was not until she was 12 that she entered the world of social media herself. She says politics, especially, began to affect her at that point in her life, and now that she has 3.5 million followers, there is a certain pressure.
"The thing that's tough about it is that you're subject to everybody else's opinions when you didn't necessarily ask for that," she said. "The downside to social media is it's another place for girls to be made fun of and another way for girls to be degraded; the upside is that it's also a way for girls — especially girls of color, for example — to speak out and to take back some control."
What do you think about Rowan Blanchard's comments?
[Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images]