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- Miley Cyrus recently split from husband Liam Hemsworth after seven-and-a-half months of marriage.
- Cyrus has since been seen kissing Kailynn Carter, ex-wife of Brody Jenner.
- Trolls have blamed Cyrus’ sexuality for her breakup with Hemsworth, but it’s wrong to assume that. Here’s why.
Miley Cyrus is not only an actor, singer, and activist, she’s also a queer icon. She has consistently been a beacon of visibility for folks who are attracted to multiple (or all) genders since she came out as pansexual four years ago.
In her 2015 Paper Magazine profile, she said, “Yo, I’m down with any adult—anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me.”
In fact, Miley helped me learn to embrace and be proud of my own bisexuality, since we came out publicly around the same time.
In the past 72 hours, news broke that the sexually fluid singer has not only split with her husband Liam Hemsworth after seven-and-a-half months of marriage, but also that she seems to be seeing someone new: Kailynn Carter, who recently split from her husband, Brody Jenner.
Last weekend, multiple leaked images of Carter and Cyrus showed the pair kissing while vacationing at il Sereno Hotel near Lake Como.
“They were with other friends, spent time by the pool and enjoyed a boat tour on the lake,” an unnamed source told People. “Everyone seemed very happy. They were in a party mood, had cocktails and seemed to have a great time.” The People source added that Miley “wasn’t introducing Kaitlynn as her girlfriend. She only called Kaitlynn her friend.”
Whatever the case, trolls were quick to blame Miley’s breakup with Liam on her sexual identity—like this person, who wrote: “#MileyCyrus splitting and allegedly cheating on Liam with a woman confirms that you shouldn’t date bi people. Not offensive, just true. Bi is greedy and never satisfied.”
Multiple openly bisexual woman, including Halsey, came to the defense of both Miley and all bi and pansexual people. “Stop being afraid of women who aren’t afraid to do what pleases them and not other people :-),” the “Without Me” singer said when she quoted the above tweet.
“This tweet is a clear cut example of biphobia,” Alex Berg, co-host of Buzzfeed New’s AM2DM wrote. “Three sentences for three different longstanding myths about bisexual people: the tropes that we’re undateable, “greedy” and “never satisfied.”
It pains me to have to say this in the year of 20biteen, but bi and pansexual people, especially those who are open about their sexuality, are not more likely to cheat or leave their partner for a person of another gender. Nor are they “never satisfied” or “greedy.” People erroneously assume if you’re attracted to multiple genders, you’ll never be satisfied if you commit to one person. Sure, while that’s true for some bi folks—which is why some bi people embrace an open or polyamorous lifestyle—it’s not inherently true for all sexually fluid people.
Our attractions to other people don’t go away just because we’ve committed to one person. That applies to everyone, no matter their orientation. But if you love a person, you’re going to remain committed to them. It’s that simple.
And in case you’ve forgotten, straight and gay people cheat, too—all the time. While it’s tough to gauge how many people actually cheat, since folks fear reporting the truth in surveys, it’s estimated than anywhere between 20% and 50% of people cheat on their partners. Lest we forget that there are over 54 million accounts on the notorious cheaters website, ashley madison.
Plenty of straight and gay people leave their partners for someone else, simply because they’ve fallen out of love. That’s how dating and love work for many—but when it happens to a bi or pansexual person, people assume their sexuality itself is the cause.
This leads to a unique form of bias many gay and straight people have against bisexual folks, which is why it might be worth it for all bi folks to actively state how long we’ve been with our partners without cheating or leaving them. While it’s seemingly an unnecessary and annoying humble brag, we’re being left with little choice. It might be exactly what it takes to combat this notion that all bi folks are greedy, never-satisfied cheaters.
So I’ll start first: I’m bi, I’ve been with my partner for a year, and I’m not planning on leaving him for a person of another gender.
No award necessary, just thought it might be helpful for you to know.
Zachary Zane is a Brooklyn-based writer, speaker, and activist whose work focuses on lifestyle, sexuality, culture, and entertainment.