Miley Cyrus is teaming up with Rookie magazine writer Tyler Ford to bring awareness to the issues faced by members of the LGBTQA community. Ford is a 24-year-old Florida native who identifies as agender. Members of the agender community choose to be referred to using the pronouns they/their/they're, rather than be restricted by traditional gender pronouns (and this article will abide by that).
Cyrus shared a photo on Instagram of Ford, taken as a part of her Happy Hippie Foundation's "#InstaPride" campaign, giving followers a little of their background information. She also revealed that they would be attending the amfAR Inspiration Gala together Tuesday night. Cyrus is being honored at the annual gala along with Bravo TV's Andy Cohen. Per the post, Tyler currently lives in New York City and identifies as a "queer, biracial, agender person." The post goes on to quote Ford about Ford's experiences growing up unsure of their gender identity. Ford said they spent their whole life thinking they had to conform to societal norms before finding the proper words to describe their gender identity. The young journalist is now comfortable in the skin they were born in and hopes to inspire others to feel the same.
According to i-D, Ford and Cyrus met through a very famous mutual friend. She reached out to pop star Ariana Grande about making a Backyard Sessions video together for Cyrus' Happy Hippie Foundation, which aims to help disadvantaged LGBT youth. Grande agreed and suggested Cyrus also reach out to Ford about doing something together. Ford told i-D they "met Miley that week when they filmed their video together." Cyrus introduced them to everyone on the Happy Hippie team, and before long Ford had created their first video for the organization. The writer sat before a camera telling the tale of their coming out, hoping to reach people in similar situations and educate those who may not be familiar with agender people.
"My first video was about my coming-out story and my coming-out process and just about coming out in general," Ford said, continuing, "because my narrative is not typical and because I think a lot of coming-out culture focuses on: 'Okay you came out once and it's done. You come out to everyone, let's have a party, or it went really badly but that's it and now you're out for the rest of your life.' And that's not how it goes. Coming out is a lifelong process."
This won't be the first time Cyrus has used a highly publicized event as an opportunity for advocacy. In October 2014, the "Wrecking Ball" singer brought Jesse Helt, a young homeless man from Oregon, as her date to the MTV Video Music Awards. She sent Helt on stage to accept her award for Video of the Year, where he delivered a moving speech about the homelessness epidemic in the United States. Cyrus looked on from the side of the stage with tears in her eyes.
Cyrus has been very open about her sexuality in recent weeks. In an interview with Paper Magazine, slated to appear in the Summer 2015 issue, she shared with readers that she knew she was bisexual from a young age. Cyrus told the publication she talked about her fluid sexuality with her mother, Tish Cyrus, early on, adding that she was open and accepting.