Miley Cyrus has been criticized in the past for dropping parts of her persona — especially the parts appropriated from cultures she isn’t a part of — after profiting from them, but the pop star says there’s one part of her identity that’s still very much relevant: her pansexuality.
Cyrus first came out as queer in 2015 (telling fans she never wants “to label myself! I am ready to love anyone that loves me for who I am! I am open.”) and has always been an advocate for LGBTQ+ equality. For example, she recently, cast model Aaron Phillip in her music video for “Mother’s Daughter.” But some have assumed that her sexuality was just another marketing ploy or gimmick in the same way she’s been accused of appropriating black culture in the Bangerz era and then distancing herself from it during the release of Younger Now.
But in a recent interview with Elle, Cyrus made it clear that she still identitifes as queer. “I’m in a hetero relationship, but I still am very sexually attracted to women,” Cyrus said. “People become vegetarian for health reasons, but bacon is still fucking good, and I know that. I made a partner decision. This is the person I feel has my back the most.” These comments echoed a similar sentiment Cyrus expressed to Vanity Fair earlier this year, saying a huge part of her “identity is being a queer person.”
Cyrus’ need to constantly qualify her own sexuality is something bisexual and pansexual folks are constantly forced to do. While we can hold Cyrus accountable for her creative decisions, her questionable experimentation with voguing, her comments about smoking pot, and asking RuPaul to rap about fingering butts on “Cattitude,” she shouldn’t be expected to affirm her queerness every few years just because she’s married to a man.