Miley Cyrus’ track “Inspired” became this year’s unofficial Pride anthem for a generation of politically charged LGBTQ youth. Entangled in her raspy vocals, Miley delivers a powerful song that highlights the fight for equality. With a message to find the strength within yourself, Miley challenges her audience to become the change they want to see.
2. Pan & proud
After many years of championing LGBTQ rights, Miley Cyrus declared her own pansexuality -- meaning gender and sexuality aren’t a factor in her love life. She followed the announcement with a trans-centric pictorial in Candy Magazine that left us gagged, literally.
3. A VMA legend
Miley, what's good?! Miley Cyrus has had some memorable VMA moments (will we ever look at a foam finger the same?). To close the 2015 telecast, Miley lead a pack of drag queens in a campy performance of her ode to marijuana, “Dooo It.” She gave the glamazons an enormous platform, and giving drag that kind of visibility is pretty badass.
4. A voice for the trans community
While some celebrity Instagram accounts are filled with exorbitant vacation shots, Miley’s images ask for more than a “like.” In 2015, Cyrus teamed up with Instagram to start #InstaPride, an initiative that showcased members of the transgender community. The collaboration educated her followers on the struggles trans people face.
5. A woman on a mission
In 2014, Miley introduced the Happy Hippie Foundation, an organization dedicated to rallying young people to fight social injustices against vulnerable groups like LGBTQ youth and homeless youth. Though her twerking and sledgehammer-licking may get more attention from the media, Miley recognizes her privilege and uses her influence to make a positive impact.
6. She puts her money where her mouth is
Pop’s wild child turned heads when she arrived at the 2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles in a leather bondage number, but she didn’t leave before donating $500,000 to the AIDS research organization. It’s Miley's special brand of in-your-face activism that keeps people talking -- and bless her for it.
7. Married & still queer
Many people still struggle to understand that being in an opposite-sex relationship does not erase one’s queerness. Cyrus spoke up about this issue in an interview with Vanity Fair, where the starlet explained that she was both queer and married to actor Liam Hemsworth. “We’re redefining, to be fucking frank, what it looks like for someone that’s a queer person like myself to be in a hetero relationship,” she said. “A big part of my pride and my identity is being a queer person.”
8. She better work on Drag Race
Following in the footsteps of icons like Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera, Cyrus is lending her talents to the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The superstar will serve as a guest judge for the season 11 premiere of the show, where she will not only be offering her two cents to the queens, but infiltrating the competition. Sissy that walk, Miley!
Additional reporting by Stephen Daw.
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More LGBTQ Icons & Allies: Ariana Grande | Lady Gaga | Madonna | Miley Cyrus | Lana Del Rey | Rihanna | Beyoncé | Kelly Clarkson | Fifth Harmony | Katy Perry | P!nk | Diana Ross