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Bella Thorne just made a vital point about identity by coming out as pansexual

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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Bella Thorne

The actor continues to dismantle stigma on the subjects that are important to her, from surviving abuse to sexual identity. 

Back in 2016, Disney star Bella Thorne came out as bisexual. Then, the actor’s frank discussion of her sexuality opened up a much needed conversation about labels and queer identity.

Now, Thorne is taking it one step further and clarifying her sexuality as pansexual. In a new interview with Good Morning America to promote her new book Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray, Thorne says that her actual sexual identity is pansexual.

“You like what you like,” Thorne explained. “Doesn’t have to be a girl, or a guy, or… you know, a he, or a she, a this or that. It’s literally you like personality. You just like a being.” 

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Thorne isn’t the only celebrity to talk about their pansexual identity. Miley Cyrus came out as pansexual in 2016, as did Janelle Monae in 2018.

“Being a queer black woman in America, someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker,” Monae told Rolling Stone. The magazine reported Monae as someone who “initially identified as bisexual”, but that she later clarified that “I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.” 

This is the same sentiment echoed in Thorne’s comments. The actor said that she “didn’t know that” she was pansexual until “somebody explained to me really thoroughly what that is”.

The point being: sexuality changes. Identity shifts. It is not a fixed point or a straight, unmoving line, but a curve. We have to be open and receptive to shifts in our identity over time. We have to understand that our sexual identity might not stay fixed, in one position, forever. And that’s OK.

By coming out as pansexual, Thorne reminded everyone just how important it is to be open to learning more about yourself and your identity.

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Tess Holliday has said as much, too, when she revealed to Nylon that she had spent a lot of time recently thinking about her sexuality. Holliday explained that she was recently in Mexico when a man approached her and asked her: “Are you bi?”

Holliday responded “Thank you so much for asking. I’ve been thinking a lot about my relationship to my own queerness, and I think the word pansexual speaks to me more than bi does.”

(The punchline to the story, though, was the man wasn’t asking if Holliday was bi, but if she was ‘buying’.)

The moral of the story is to keep thinking about your sexuality, as much as you can. And if you think that it might be changing – stay open to that change. 

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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