Miley Cyrus is — and should be — proud of who she is. However, when she came out as ‘pansexual,’ many weren’t completely clear on what that meant. So, we broke down everything to know about the term that commonly gets mistaken as bisexual, but is actually very different.
“My whole life, I didn’t understand my own gender and my own sexuality. 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,” Miley Cyrus told Variety, before revealing that she never loved being a girl or a boy. So, she though the LGBTQ alphabet should add a P for “pansexual.”
So what is “pansexual?” Well the dictionary defines it as “not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.” The word itself is derived from the Greek prefix pan, which means “all.” It also refers to romantic interests, CNN reports, adding that someone who identifies as pansexual can be attracted to multiple gender identities. Authors Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels also told CNN that it is different from bisexual. “People are adopting it because ‘bisexual’ partakes of the gender binary. Pansexuality is a way of moving beyond that and a personal recognition that attractions are felt across the gender spectrum.”
Miley told the magazine when she found out what pansexual meant, she began identifying as it.
“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,” she revealed, adding she related to them more than anyone she had ever met. “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, 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.'”