Pop star Miley Cyrus, whose Happy Hippie Foundation helps vulnerable youth including the homeless and LGBTQ young people, says that despite being in a long relationship with a man, she does not consider herself bound by a rigid gender identity.
“My whole life, I didn’t understand my own gender and my own sexuality,” Cyrus, 23, says in the new issue of Variety. “I always hated the word ‘bisexual,’ because that’s even putting me in a box. I don’t ever think about someone being a boy or someone being a girl.”
Instead, the famously provocative singer said, “I think the LGBTQ alphabet could continue forever. But there’s a ‘P’ that should happen, for ‘pansexual.’ ”
She began first identifying as such, she said, “when I figured out what it was. I went to the LGBTQ center here in L.A., and I started hearing these stories. I saw one human in particular who didn’t identify as male or female. Looking at them, they were both: beautiful and sexy and tough but vulnerable and feminine but masculine. And I related to that person more than I related to anyone in my life. Even though I may seem very different, people may not see me as neutral as I feel. But I feel very neutral. I think that was the first gender-neutral person I’d ever met.
“Once I understood my gender more, which was unassigned,” continued the “Voice” coach, “then I understood my sexuality more. I was like, ‘Oh . . . that’s why I don’t feel straight and I don’t feel gay. It’s because I’m not.’ ”
Since around January, Cyrus has been back with “Hunger Games” actor Liam Hemsworth, 26. The two began a romance after meeting on the set of their coming-of-age romantic drama “The Last Song” in 2009. They broke up and reunited at least twice before becoming engaged in 2012, and then called off the engagement in September the following year.