Miley Cyrus Just Revealed New Details About Her Sexuality

August 28th 2015

Upcoming MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) host Miley Cyrus has talked a lot about her sexual fluidity in recent months, but in a new interview with Elle U.K., she finally came out as pansexual.

"I’m very open about it—I’m pansexual," Cyrus told Elle U.K. for its October issue. "But I’m not in a relationship. I’m 22, I’m going on dates, but I change my style every two weeks, let alone who I’m with."

Cyrus has indicated before that she isn't heterosexual despite dating several high profile male celebrities. Speaking to Paper Magazine earlier this year, Cyrus said, "I've had [serious relationships with women], [b]ut people never really looked at it, and I never brought it into the spotlight."

What is pansexuality?

Pansexuality has origins with psychologist Sigmund Freud, who according to LiveScience, "believed that all human behavior is motivated in one way or another by the sex instinct." Freud was criticized for this theory, which his peers dubbed "pansexualism."

The word itself is composed with the Greek prefix "pan," which means "all." The Merriam-Website dictionary defines pansexuality as "exhibiting or implying many forms of sexual expression."

"Pansexual has come to mean that a person is capable of falling in love with or having a sexual attraction to a person regardless of where they stand on the gender/sexuality spectrum," according to Go Ask Alice!, a Columbia University site run by health specialists and various academics. "Pansexual individuals can be attracted to cismen, ciswomen, transmen, transwomen, intersex people, androgynous people, and everyone else. It’s generally considered a more inclusive term than bisexual."

What is the difference between pansexuality and bisexuality?

The term pansexuality came about in the early 1900s to "describe a way of thinking that sexual instinct plays a part in all human thoughts and activities, even being the most important or only source of real energy in our lives," according to Go Ask Alice!. Pansexuality might seem similar to bisexuality, but as noted by Go Ask Alice!, some consider themselves pansexual because bisexuality is too limiting and reinforces the notion of the gender binary.

PansexualityPansexuality is Perfect Tumblr - tumblr.com

It's important to note, however, that some people have varying views of the difference between pansexuality and bisexuality. The Pansexuality is Perfect Tumblr notes that, like pansexuals, many bisexuals don't limit themselves to the gender binary. Those who agree with this statement may also conclude that pansexuality and bisexuality are identical in meaning.

"[B]isexuality and pansexuality can mean the same, but do not always mean the same," the Pansexuality is Perfect Tumblr reads. It continuess:

"They are rather alike and I believe majority of bisexuals also discard the gender binary in regards to sexual attraction ... In my own story, I just felt immediately drawn to pansexuality myself because I wanted to completely remove physical gender from the equation all together ... There are more similarities than differences between bisexuality and pansexuality ... I think many people do try and define bisexuality in a binary method in order to establish the difference between the two when explaining pansexuality, but they are more like fraternal twins; incredibly similar with (sometimes) slight differences—also depending on how you see both."

Why pansexuality works for Cyrus.

Beyond being a pop superstar and a former Disney actress, Cyrus has been very open and vocal about her sexuality—hopefully empowering others to feel the same.

In an interview with Paper Magazine, Cyrus revealed that she told her mother she was attracted to females at age 14. Though her mom was initially unsure of what to make of that, she ultimately supported her daughter's feelings.

"I remember telling her I admire women in a different way," Cyrus said. "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."

She also told Paper Magazine that she does not relate to any gender and doesn't "have to have [her] partner relate to boy or girl."

She is also a supporter of LGBT rights and sexual liberation, and Cyrus uses both her voice and influence. When the Supreme Court made gay marriage legal in all fifty states earlier this year, Cyrus celebrated with a pro-LGBT Instagram photo:

"[T]hank you America for not cutting my chances of finding true love forever and ever by 50%," she wrote.

Cyrus went on to share an image of an Instagram comment stating that the fight for all LGBT individuals wasn't over, as trans people still struggle to achieve acceptance in society:

A few months ago, Cyrus made news for starting The Happy Hippie Foundation, which focuses on LGBT and homeless youth. As ATTN: previously noted, the organization has already started making an impact in Los Angeles, which many consider the "homeless capital" of the country. Cyrus first showed an interest in tackling homelessness by bringing homeless youth Jesse Helt to the VMAs as her date in 2014.

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