Miley Cyrus might be looking at reengaging and redesigning her relationship with spirituality after a conversation with Hailey Beiber. In a recent episode of her show Bright Minded: Live with Miley Cyrus, the singer chatted with RuPaul’s Drag Race competitors Trixie Mattel and Milk about makeup while wearing a RuPaul t-shirt. But, in addition, Cyrus got into some eye opening discussions with Bieber where she revealed that when she was growing up, friends of her were sent to conversion therapy by her church.
“I love what you said about that because I was raised going to church as a believer and that was a really big part of my life and I kind of fell off that path a little bit because I had a really hard time finding a relationship with God that worked for me as an adult,” Cyrus said in the clip. Bieber had been previously said that everyone needs a supporting, loving community and that for her church and spirituality were those things but that might not be true for everyone. “What I just took from you is that I’m allowed to decide what my relationship is with spirituality as an adult that doesn’t have to be aligned with the way that it was when I was brought up.”
Some have excerpted the exchange and posted it to Twitter.
“I was brought up in the church in Tennessee in the 90s — it was a less accepting time,” she continued. “I had some gay friends in school, and the reason I kind of left my church was they weren’t being accepted. They were being sent to conversion therapy and I had a really hard time with it. I had a hard time with me finding my sexuality too so I think now, you telling me that I’m allowed to redesign my relationship with God as an adult and make it how it feels most accepting to me, would make me feel less turned off to spirituality.” Cyrus came out as pansexual in 2015.
Conversion therapy is a debunked set of practices that range from “praying the gay away” to physical torture aimed at changing someone’s sexuality or gender identity. Though currently states and countries are increasingly banning the pseudoscience and major professional organizations have come out against it, in the 1990s it was an entirely different world, where in some parts of the United States, it was quite common.
Bieber, notably attends Hillsong Church with her husband Justin Bieber. That church, though it boasts a large celebrity following has quite a long history of homophobia and connections to conversion therapy. Ellen Page called out the church in 2019.
Watch the entire episode of Bright Minded: Live with Miley Cyrus below.