When Miley Cyrus was young, we all knew her as a Disney tween star with a country singer father famous for his mullet and a song about achy breaky hearts that I may or may not have line-danced to with my mom and sister in a senior citizen variety show. It was really easy to pre-judge her based on the persona of her alter-ego Hannah Montana. But then she started to move away from that happy-go-lucky, all-American pop star ID and posed provocatively for Annie Leibovitz‘s lens in Vanity Fair at age 15.
Photo via Vanity Fair
And that was when shit got real.
As a teenager, Miley did some teenage things, like posting pictures where she was pretending to kiss her gal pals on MySpace. Then she released “I Can’t Be Tamed,” her song about wilin’ out and she feigned kissing a female dancer during three different performances, at least one of which was televised. But every time the media made some huge to-do about it (“MILEY’S LESBIANISM REVEALED!”) the performer’s responses were like this: “Yawn.”
“For me, I was like, That’s two girls—it’s not a big deal,” Miley told Vanity Fair.
In 2011, she posted for NOH8 and earlier this year, she got a tattoo for equality. She wrote a piece for Glamour explaining why she and even her dad, a Southern Baptist country singer, accept same-sex marriage. An excerpt:
I believe every American should be allowed the same rights and civil liberties. Without legalized same-sex marriage, most of the time you cannot share the same health benefits, you are not considered next of kin and you are not granted the same securities as a heterosexual couple. How is this different than having someone sit in the back of the bus because of their skin color? … This is America, the nation of dreams. We’re so proud of that. And yet certain people are excluded. It’s just not right.
In her 2011 film LOL, Miley committed to some girl-on-girl liplocking and took some photobooth shots kissing Ashley Hinshaw.
And today, people are going gaga over Miley’s new short haircut, a pixie blonde ‘do that is getting some eyeroll-worthy comments on how lesbian it makes her look. (Just go search “Miley Cyrus” on Twitter and let me know what you find. I cringe thinking about it.)
Photo via Twitter
This is why Miley Cyrus matters, you guys. I don’t care if you’re 40 years older than her and think she’s some dumb 20-something with too much attention, because she is going to be part of why the new generation of kids her age and younger are like, “You’re a lesbian? Cool. I support you.” Girls want to be like Miley. Dudes want to date Miley. I’m sure there are also girls that want to date Miley and dudes that want to be like Miley. She’s now got this universal appeal and the opportunity to preach and teach and she’s on our team. (Not like that, but you know what I’m saying.)
Miley does not give a fuck if you don’t like her haircut, or if you think she’s a lesbian. She wants you to know she’s a Christian with a country singing dad and Dolly Parton as her godmother. She’s a top artist on the Billboard 100, a major movie actress and someone whose every move the tabloids follow. And she’s inked her feelings for gay pride and equality on her body. That’s how strongly she feels about you. So if you strongly feel that Miley isn’t someone worth caring about or listening to, I’d urge you reconsider.
Plus her haircut is super rad. It doesn’t make her a lesbian, but it’s lesbian approved, just like her Jessie J-penned song “Party in the USA.”