Everyone knows Miley Cyrus as a talented music artist and actress, but fewer people are aware of her coming out experience and her activism in the LGBTQ+ community. Recently in an interview with Paper Magazine, Miley spoke about her organization, the Happy Hippie Foundation, her gender identity, and why she believes that everyone should be treated with respect. Her experience is relatable to many young people and the fact that she spoke so honestly about her identity has inspired many people to do the same. Cyrus says that since she has such a wide audience, she wants to make sure she says something important and makes an impact on people. She has certainly accomplished this goal, and many find her story inspiring and feel a little less alone because of it.
Miley came out to her mom when she was fourteen by explaining that she liked girls in the same way she liked boys. Her mom had a hard time understanding at first and said she “didn’t want [her] to be judged and didn’t want [her] to go to hell.” However, she was able to overcome her religious beliefs because of her love and support of her child. Miley identifies as sexuality-fluid and gender-fluid, meaning that she could potentially be attracted to anyone and she feels like her gender is in flux. Many gender-fluid individuals feel that their gender changes from day to day, while others do not identify with any gender. Cyrus expressed her identity as not wanting to be seen as any gender, since she didn’t feel like she fit into any “boxes”. She says that she does not accept “traditional gender roles” and she realizes she doesn’t hate the gender she was assigned at birth, she hates “the box [she] gets put into.”
In order to help homeless and LGBTQ+ youth who are struggling, Miley created the organization called the Happy Hippie Foundation (HHF). This group provides support, education, and employment for people who cannot find these opportunities elsewhere. She wants to bring attention to and do everything she can to solve issues that are more prevalent with queer individuals such as homelessness, sexual/physical abuse, suicide, and self harm. She hopes the HHF can make a change in the lives of those who have not been accepted or don’t have the proper resources. She is aware of the fact that a lot of people listen to what she has to say, so she wants to use her strong voice to spread awareness about issues that are important to her. In fact, when she won the Video of the Year Award at the VMAs in 2014, she sent her friend Jesse, a runaway youth, to accept the award on her behalf, in order to raise awareness about homelessness, especially regarding young people. She hopes that one day the LGBTQ+ community and others who are discriminated against will be accepted in society, but for now she’s doing all she can to help.