Why Bella Thorne Didn’t Know She Was Pansexual

Bella Thorne is back in the news today after a recent announcement. This morning she sat down for an exclusive interview for Good Morning America to promote her new book, Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray. While giving the interview, Thorne revealed that she didn’t know that she was pansexual until very recently. But just what does pansexual mean, and why didn’t Thorne know that was how she identified?

Bella Thorne comes out as pansexual
Bella Thorne | Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Coming out as bisexual

Back in 2016, Thorne revealed to the world that she was bisexual. After a fan asked if she was bisexual, she tweeted back a simple “Yes”. But that was three years ago now, and today Thorne feels differently. “I’m actually pansexual, and I didn’t know that. Somebody explained to me really thoroughly what that is,” Thorne admitted, insinuating that the reason she didn’t know she was pansexual sooner was because pansexuality wasn’t explained well to her in the past.

What does pansexual mean?

It’s not surprising that Thorne initially struggled with her understanding of what it means to be pansexual. It’s a term that is scarcely understood fully in mainstream society. In her interview, Thorne explained what pansexual meant to her. “You like beings. You like what you like. Doesn’t have to be a girl or a guy or a he or she or they or this or that. It’s literally you like personality. You just like a being,” the 21-year-old said.

GLADD’s definition of pansexual

Thorne gave an excellent definition of pansexual, but here’s another one in case you’re still a bit confused. The CEO and President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (known today as GLADD) gave this excellent definition for pansexual. “A pansexual is a person who is attracted to all gender identities, or attracted to people regardless of gender,” said Sarah Kate Ellis.

Bisexual and pansexual are different

The pansexual identity can certainly be difficult for some people to understand. Though it’s a term that’s been around for a while, it’s still relatively new in mainstream society. The identity is a little more nuanced than other sexual orientations, so it can be hard to explain correctly. It’s no wonder that Thorne didn’t know that she identified as pansexual until it was explained to her in a comprehensive way. While many people struggle to understand the difference between bisexuality and pansexuality, it is imperative that we keep taking strides to understand everyone’s unique identity.

Miley Cyrus is also pansexual

But Thorne isn’t the only former Disney darling to come out as pansexual. Fellow Disney alum, Miley Cyrus, also identifies with that particular identity. Cyrus admits that it can be easy for people to forget that she is pansexual because she is married to a man, actor Liam Hemsworth. But despite Cyrus’ marriage, she has stated very openly that she is still very sexually attracted to women.

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@ELLEusa August issue! Link in bio!

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Cyrus relationship is complex

“I think it’s very confusing to people that I’m married. But my relationship is unique. And I don’t know that I would ever publicly allow people in there because it’s so complex, and modern, and new that I don’t think we’re in a place where people would get it. I mean, do people really think that I’m at home in a f*cking apron cooking dinner,” Cyrus said cheekily in a recent interview with Elle.

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Abs like a ninja turtle

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Cyrus on her marriage to Liam Hemsworth

Cyrus then continued on to explain how she chose Hemsworth as her forever partner. “I’m in a hetero relationship, but I still am very sexually attracted to women. People become vegetarian for health reasons, but bacon is still fucking good, and I know that. I made a partner decision. This is the person I feel has my back the most. I definitely don’t fit into a stereotypical wife role. I don’t even like that word,” Cyrus confessed.

Sexuality is fluid

We commend Bella Thorne and Miley Cyrus for speaking out about their preferred identities and showcasing sexuality and sexual orientation as something that can be fluid and everchanging. Whether they are doing it intentionally or not, they are bringing much-needed visibility to the LGBTQ community. By showing people that it’s okay to define and redefine yourself, they are sending the message that there’s no need to fit yourself to society’s limited expectations, and we’re 100% here for that.