Throughout her disturbing and dazzling Bangerz tour, Miley Cyrus has shown a hankering for girl-on-girl action. A few weeks ago, she smooched Katy Perry, and now, she's nabbed headlines for kissing a random female member of her audience. Seeing as how both these incidents were broadcast on giant screens and spread to the masses via social media, it's fair to assume this was yet another obnoxious example of her using an actual sexual identity to cheaply provoke and excite.
But it's also worth asking if maybe Miley is truly into girls, and if so, why she's been so tentative to say so. There are plenty of whispers that even behind closed doors and away from the camera phones, she has been with women. Considering conservative parents already think she's a she-devil, and her show is all about being who you are, what's holding her back from announcing her sexuality if this is the case?
One generous explanation is this: she understands the stigma around bisexualism, and is simply too scared to come out.
Indeed, while the media and public have made significant strides in accepting stars as gay, bisexualism tends to fall into a weird void of social acceptance—it's often treated as some crazy, frivolous curiosity, rather than an actual orientation.
Take the most recent high-profile example of an out bisexual star: actress Amber Heard, aka Johnny Depp's new fiance. Heard previously dated a woman for several years and has been outspoken about being bi. Sadly but not surprisingly, the media has pretty much epically failed at handling this information. Among other things, they've called her past relationship a "lesbian affair," confusing lesbianism with bisexualism while treating her real relationship as a taboo casual tryst, and paired news of her bisexualism with a titillating photo of her showing some leg—because, you know, girls liking girls is hot! And then there are the unsubstantiated rumors that she's having Johnny-approved "bisexual flings" on the side, which plays into a "sexually easy" stigma while again treating her female relationships as some casual throwaway thing.
Very few have approached Heard's bisexualism as a normal and acceptable part of her identity, just as few have been able to wrap their minds around the bi orientation of stars such as Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie, Anna Paquin, Billy Joe Armstrong and Clive Davis. This isn't just limited to the celebsphere, of course: bisexuals have long had to contend with confusion or outright rejection about who they are, even from normally progressive people.
Because of this, it's even more important that stars who are bi come out proudly and help change people's backwards attitudes. So, Miley: if you are actually bisexual, say it. And if not, for the last time, please stop kissing girls for show.
Image: Wikimedia Commons