Miley Cyrus has made the tabloids for some moments she certainly isn't proud of; from getting caught on camera taking bong hits of salvia to her most recent stint, threatening her father, Billy Ray, on Twitter. Despite these unfavorable glimpses at Miley, the pop icon has also projected some important and commendable messages to her fans, and here is the latest from her: "Being a lesbian isn't a bad thing," said Cyrus.
Cyrus has always promoted individuality and being herself, despite jabs from the paparazzi and criticism from audiences. It is an important message to be sent, especially to young fans who often feel peer pressured to abandon their own values to fit in.
Not only does Miley talk the talk, she walks the walk. Her recent video for single "We Can't Stop" received its share of criticism not only for its content allegedly promoting the illegal drug, Molly, but also for Cyrus's new look and for twerking on camera. Despite the controversy, people couldn't get enough of the video. Miley continues to win despite the insults thrown at her; in fact, she broke the VEVO record for music video views when the controversial hit was viewed 10.7 million times. Hannah Montana is all grown up; she is telling fans to either accept or reject her, but she won't change herself to please them.
The pop star has recently faced some scathing criticism for her new short hair cut. According to the Toronto Sun, the haircut inspired a slew of questions, including whether Cyrus, who is currently engaged to actor Liam Hemsworth (although some news outlets have reported it has been called off), is a lesbian.
Cyrus was not offended by the reaction. In fact, she turned the incident into a social message: stop using words like gay and lesbian as insults.
"If you think I look like I’m a lesbian, I’m not offended," Cyrus said, according to the Toronto Sun. "I’ve been called much worse. Being a lesbian is a compliment more than what else they call me.”
While this summer has ushered in huge progress for gay rights with the end of DOMA and the overturn of the Prop 8 amendment, a stigma is still unfortunately attached to homosexuality. Phrases like "stop being gay," or "that's so gay" remain prevalent in conversations, especially among young people who have been conditioned to throw them around them mindlessly. But the battle for gay rights and equality is not over until these attitudes are reversed, until being gay is not considered inferior or ridiculed. The sad reality is that our society is a long way from achieving this neutral sphere.
But celebrities like Miley Cyrus and other admired figures are playing an important role in spearheading the attempt to change the way many people look down upon homosexuality. Openly gay celebrities who have come out in front of their audiences such as Ellen DeGeneres and Anderson Cooper have helped create a liberal America that offers its gay citizens the civil rights they had previously been denied. It is up to the rest of us to pave the rest of the way and produce a society that does not judge according to sexual preferences. Miley Cyrus has voiced her beliefs, and hopefully has many more will follow.