“All these things that I do get all this attention. But then what do I do once I have everyone’s attention?” ~ Miley Cyrus, Out Magazine.
Well, she doesn’t need to answer that—her actions are speaking louder than her words.
This week Miley Cyrus announced she is starting up The Happy Hippie Foundation, a project that has been put in place to help the youth from the homeless LGBTQ community.
A concert held in Miley’s backyard featuring transgender pioneer Laura Jane Grace and rocker Joan Jett.
Miley and Jess sang the song Different.
Here are some of the lyrics:
“Have you ever taken flak from the bullies on attack ’cause you’re different
They laugh and call you names but that ain’t no badge of shame just ’cause you’re different
People gonna stare, you unsettle them and scare ’em ’cause we’re different
Walking down the street, when you pass they take a peek there’s something different.”
Miley has spoken of her feelings in a recent interview, “I didn’t want to be a boy,” she explained to Out Magazine, “I kind of wanted to be nothing. I don’t relate to what people would say defines a girl or a boy, and I think that’s what I had to understand: Being a girl isn’t what I hate, it’s the box that I get put into.”
The trouble with Miley’s statement is that media sites are now running stories labelling her as genderqueer and bisexual.
So, when someone announces they want to be free from labels and want to be “nothing,” all the stories jump straight on the bandwagon of labelling her as something that fits into a tidy box! Stories are now going viral runing with headlines such as “Miley Cyrus Genderqueer? Singer Reveals Her Gender Identity And Sexuality” and “Miley Cyrus May Have Come Out As Genderqueer And Bisexual.”
The Urban Dictionary’s top definition for genderqueer:
“Genderqueer is most commonly used to describe a person who feels that his/her gender identity does not fit into the socially constructed “norms” associated with his/her biological sex. Genderqueer is an identity that falls anywhere between man/boy/male and woman/girl/female on the spectrum of gender identities.”
Miley’s whole point in stating that she does not want to be put into a box is equality and freedom. She understands herself, she identifies strongly with whom she is, she is a tough and empowering public figure, and she is using her notoriety to stand up and shout loud for the millions of people whose voices are not heard.
What many people fail to realise is that one of the toughest battles that people face are the personal ones, the ones in which they are conveniently labelled by society so that square pegs can fit into the square shapes and round ones and so on and blah, blah fucking blah…
The whole “labelling” infuriates me.
It is a total head f*ck. And in this case, it’s a gender head f*ck.
It maddens me.
Labelling causes an incredible amount of suffering as unless our labels are “appropriate” and “acceptable,” they are more often than not ridiculed and used to exclude and send people into an invisible exile.
The tragic thing is, that until this world stops with it’s judgements, categorizing and labelling, so many people will suffer, be bullied, belittled, taunted, ostracized.
Even more worryingly many will take their own lives.
Miley understands this perfectly. When she states that she does not want to be defined, that is not an invitation for a viral storm (which is currently happening) solely to label her.
News media sites know that stories sell, click bait sells—anything outside the box generally sells.
Miley knows that drawing attention to herself sells and she is now using that attention to focus on matters close to her heart. Awesome!
However, wouldn’t it be far more powerful if the one thing that she is trying to get away from (labelling) is not the thing that is now being used once again to define her?
Miley’s message to the world is that we do not need to fit in and that it is okay to be different. When she speaks out she is doing it not just for herself, but for all of those who are struggling to find their place in society.
We have labels for everything, and quite frankly they are nothing but, as I said before, a head f*ck for so many people. At this stage a lot of labels are necessary so that awareness can be raised, education and an understanding gained.
However, to place a label on someone shouting out that she doesn’t want to be defined is just utter madness. The whole point in Miley stating that she doesn’t want a label is so that others who are not yet accepted can one day find the same freedom.
“Nothing can/will define me! Free to be everything!” Miley recently posted on her Instagram account.
More important is the incredible cause that Miley Cyrus is using her status to highlight a very important project.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Renée Picard