Miley Cyrus Is Not a Queer Icon: Do Better

"I always thought I had to be gay, because I thought all guys were evil, but it's not true."

For those still celebrating Miley Cyrus as a queer icon, may we invite you to take a moment to reconsider.

Yes, she came out as pansexual and genderfluid in 2015, soon proving herself to be an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community by founding Happy Hippie foundation for homeless queer youth. Then, after ending her marriage to Liam Hemsworth, Cyrus briefly dated reality TV star Kaitlynn Carter before moving on to Cody Simpson, with whom she did an Instagram live on Sunday. Here's where things got...dicey, to say the least.

In the midst of the livestream, Cyrus stated, "There are good men out there, guys, don't give up. You don't have to be gay, there are good people with dicks out there, you've just got to find them," She said, while Simpson laughed. "You've got to find a dick that's not a dick, you know? I always thought I had to be gay, because I thought all guys were evil, but it's not true. There are good people out there that just happen to have dicks. I've only ever met one, and he's on this live."

Miley Cyrus: "You Don't Have To Be Gay"! | Perez Hilton

Oof. Miley, honey, it's 2019! Twitter, of course, immediately popped the f*ck off.

Soon, Cyrus wielded a powerful, often misused celebrity weapon: the notes app apology.

So. There's a lot of toxicity to unpack here. Let's start with the easy part: Cyrus' implication that the only good man she has ever met is Cody Simpson. *Cue her father, brothers, and Liam Hemsworth giving the camera a long, Jim Halpert-esque look.* Misandry aside, Cyrus implied that 1.) Being queer is a choice. 2.) Dating men is always preferable to dating women, even if you're queer. 3.) Cyrus herself chose to date women because of a distrust for men, not necessarily an attraction to women. None of these things were addressed in her apology; in fact, she didn't even bother to claim that she misspoke or that it was meant as a joke. All she really did was re-enforce that men are sh*tty.

To be clear, for anyone still living in 1950, being queer is not a choice, dating within the LGBTQ+ community is not an exciting and temporary foray into counter-culture on your way to a heterosexual relationship, dating men as a bisexual/pansexual woman is not somehow inherently preferable to dating women, and you don't get to call yourself queer just because you find men annoying sometimes. Being queer is defined by being attracted to genders other than the opposite gender to your own, and again, it is NEVER a choice. Just a little bit louder for those of you in the back: BEING QUEER IS NEVER A CHOICE.

If you still aren't sure, here's some science for you: A 2019 study by Andrea Ganna, lead author and European Molecular Biology Laboratory group leader at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Finland, said that while her study did not find a "gay gene," it revealed "there are a number of genetic variations that can influence sexual behavior." Essentially, the research reinforces that queerness is simply "a natural part of our diversity as a species." That means that women being attracted to women is not simply a matter of thinking "all guys were evil" and so resorting to women—it's a matter of bonafide, biological sexual attraction.

Please do better, Miley.


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Kevin Fret, First Openly Gay Latin Trap Singer, Killed in San Juan

The 24-year-old rapper aspired to change the industry's attitude towards masculinity and hoped to be a "role model" for LGBT youth.


Rapper and vocal LGBT activist, Kevin Fret, was shot and killed in San Juan on Thursday morning, as the latest victim of the "crisis of violence" plaguing Puerto Rico.

When the 24-year-old debuted his music last year, he made history as Latin trap's first openly gay artist. His aim was to change how Latin trap music is perceived by challenging its attitude towards masculinity. Despite receiving harassment and criticism from some, Fret enjoyed an engaged Facebook following that he used to encourage LGBT youth to pursue their aspirations and fight bigotry. Fret's last music video, "Soy Así," gained more than 700,000 views on YouTube.

Kevin Fret - Soy Asi

His manager, Eduardo Rodriguez, reflected to Billboard: "Kevin was an artistic soul, a big-hearted dreamer. His passion was music, and still had a lot to do. This violence must stop," Rodriguez continued, "There are no words that describe the feeling we have and the pain that causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go. We must all unite in these difficult times, and ask for much peace for our beloved Puerto Rico."

The island of 3.3 million people has already seen 24 murders this year, according to CNN, with gang activity and drug trafficking escalating after hurricanes Maria and Irma staggered an already struggling economy. Hence, Fret's murder testifies to the territory's need for more security resources from the U.S. mainland. According to FBI agent Douglas Leff, their security office in San Juan is facing the worst crime crisis of any agency in Puerto Rico.

Fret's murder is one of two recent high-profile murders in Puerto Rico. Governor Ricardo Roselló is under pressure to address the rampant crime rates, with FBI statistics showing that Puerto Rico has one of the highest crime rates in the U.S. In 2017, the murder rate was approximately 20 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. Fret was shot eight times while driving a motorcycle in the Santurce neighborhood of San Juan, one of the city's most densely populated areas. He was pronounced dead at the Río Piedras Medical Center at 5:20 AM.

Fret's murder is also a sad nod to Puerto Rico's cultural struggles with homophobia. The Puerto Rican Civil Rights commission published a critique of the island's struggles with social tolerance that reads, "Homophobia is deeply rooted in our country and represents a formidable factor of discrimination, marginality and exclusion...In fact, it appears that homophobia persists as a socially acceptable prejudice."

When Fret was 18, he came out to his sister and parents. Billboard reports that they initially struggled to accept his sexuality but later became "his biggest fans." At the time of his death, he was working with producers to release new music this year. In 2018, he told Paper magazine, "I'm a person that doesn't care what anybody has to say." He proclaimed, "Young gay guys or young lesbians … are looking at me now like a role model, like wow, if he did it, and he don't care what anybody else has to say, I can do it."


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.

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