Words matter to the queer community. While a certain f word is more commonly used in problematic rhetoric aimed at us, it goes beyond that. Especially in the case of us “choosing our lifestyle”. Queer celebrity, Miley Cyrus, is now guilty of using this rhetoric.
In a recent Instagram story, Cyrus, and non-binary pansexual, made the following comment:
“Don’t give up. You don’t have to be gay, there are good people with di*** out there, you just gotta find them. You just gotta find a di** that’s not a di**, you know what I mean?”
Naturally, it gets worse.
“I always thought I had to be gay because I just thought all guys are evil, but that’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.”
Cyrus is an extremely vocal queer celebrity, having been open about their pansexuality and gender queerness, an intersection that is often ignored and discriminated against in the LGBTQ+ community. This is why her comments come as a shock to her fans and queer folk alike.
From the view of a queer person, it appears that Cyrus, a once very open and proud queer person, who arguably marketed the latest chapter of their career on their queerness, is now making it seem like being queer is something those losing in love choose. This is disgusting.
I am a queer person. I’ve known since I was twelve. I came out to close friends at the age of fourteen. I was outed at the age of fifteen to most of the kids in my grade. I tried killing myself shortly after.
I knew if my family found out, I would without a doubt be pushed away. I knew that some of my peers would ostracize me. I knew I would struggle no matter where I went. So why would I choose that type of life? I wouldn’t.
I did not choose to feel unsafe holding my first girlfriend’s hand in high school. I did not choose to have to be worried about potential business prospects finding out about my identity.
I did not choose to have an identity that’s even ignored by other people in the LGBTQ+ community. I sure did not choose to even entertain Cyrus’ ignorant comments.
Myself and millions of others who have their safety, livelihood, and lives threatened want Cyrus’ ignorant statement to be a teaching moment for those both inside and outside the LGBTQ+ community.
First and foremost, it’s not a choice. It never has been and never will be. While there are plenty of cisgender heterosexual people that are awesome and make great partners for queer people, they’re also the largest perpetrators of hate crimes toward the LGBTQ+ community, as well as just not really some queer folks type.
The second lesson, and a very overlooked fact amongst queer people, is that just because you belong to a marginalized community, doesn’t mean you can’t be problematic, or use your marginalized identity to defend your ignorant behavior.