And Then Miley Cyrus Launched #Instapride To Amplify Trans and Genderqueer Stories

Feature image via Miley’s Instagram

In her latest social media partnership, Miley Cyrus and the Happy Hippie Foundation have teamed up with Instagram to create #Instapride. Throughout the next two weeks, the campaign will share the photos and stories of “transgender and gender expansive people from around the country.”


via The Happy Hippie Foundation

Miley recently came out as various non-specifically-labeled types of queer with regard to her gender and sexuality and launched Happy Hippie, a foundation dedicated to serving homeless and LGBT youth. #Instapride has already garnered a huge response on Instagram — and has already started telling stories, beginning with trans man Leo Sheng. It is pretty amazing to consider that Miley is deliberately putting trans stories and nonbinary stories in front of more than 22 million Instagram followers, not to mention all the other ways she has to reach wide audiences.

Leo wrote on Instagram that sharing his story of transition has been important to him, and he was excited to do so more broadly through #Instapride.

It was run and shot by Miley herself, and showcased stories of trans and gender-fluid Instagrammers from around the country. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been in a room with so much love, pride, and respect for everyone’s journeys. It was such a privilege to be included and I’m so humbled to be a part of something so special and beautiful. I hope that I can inspire those who have the ability to share their own stories to find their own voices.

Miley is an imperfect celebrity advocate with a splotchy history of racism and cultural appropriation that she has never apologized for. However, this campaign, at least in its first hours, seems seriously groundbreaking in scope and wonderfully positive in its approach.

And, in an exclusive with Time (which discredits her membership in the community by calling her an ally and deadnames Caitlyn Jenner and is generally Time-ish, but I digress) it seems like Miley is learning to acknowledge and leverage her privilege.

“In places like Indianapolis, you can tell someone that if they’re trans or gay they can’t use your public bathroom, Cyrus says, referencing the “religious freedom law passed earlier this year that has since been rolled back. “No matter what I’d do, I’d probably be allowed to go in there. Because they’re starfuckers. And these people are real people. I don’t want to be anywhere they can’t be.”

Getting trans and non-binary people’s stories out in the world and in front of a huge audience fits into Happy Hippie’s goal of amplifying youth voices to help eliminate prejudice and keep people alive and happy. And the specific focus on the T in LGBT is rare and necessary in a social campaign like this. Here’s hoping these stories reach the people who need to hear them!

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Adrian is a writer, a Texan and a Presbyterian pastor. They write about bisexuality, gender, religion, politics, music and a whole lot of feelings at Autostraddle and wherever fine words are sold. They have a dog named after Alison Bechdel. Follow Adrian on Twitter @adrianwhitetx.

Adrian has written 153 articles for us.


  1. I know Miley Cyrus has a lot of issues, and a lot of things she needs to learn and apologise for

    But I’m so pleased to see her taking this step – she has a voice and she is (for once) using it for a good thing, and stepping back and letting trans people tell their own stories to the whole world, giving them a voice.

    I have to ask – aren’t genderqueer people generally considered trans as well? Is there a reason why they’re separated in the title of the article?

    • Some gender non-conforming people consider themselves trans and some don’t. Some of us haven’t made steps towards physically or socially “transitioned”/changed, even though we are not the gender we were assigned at birth. It differs from person to person.

      • I didn’t rly explain that very well, I guess the list of reasons that someone may identify with being trans or decide not to call themselves trans is exhaustive and differs person-to-person.

    • It varies—some GQ people feel they’re in the trans umbrella and some don’t. :) Thus the split in the title here, it seems.

    • Hey! Nonbinary-androgynous person here! A lot of Genderqueer/nonbinary people ID as Trans, and a lot don’t. It’s fair to seperate the two, because a lot of times when people only talk about “trans” people, they are using it in a binary (male-female) way and not acknowledging the existence of multiple genders beyond woman and men.

  2. I hope she has plans to partner up with trans women and trans men activists, cause her spotty history has me concerned a bit.

  3. Well this is exciting.

    Quite aside from Miley Cyrus, I hope this inspires some other people with star-power and starfucker-given privilege to foreground stores of people less privileged. Like, every one of you pop singers & actors has a platform! Use it!

    • I hope it inspires others too. There are a lot of celebrities that claim to care about us, pop stars especially, when they have something to promote but they aren’t actually doing anything. Glaad and the Trevor Project will still throw them an ally party anyway(*cough* Katy Perry*cough*).From what I can tell so far, Miley seems dead serious about this and doesn’t seem to be doing it to promote an album or a movie just this campaign. Every post on her social media is about it. Her interview she’s doing lately is about it. Even her siblings are throwing their support behind the project. However, I see a lot of media dismissing her outright though simply because she’s Miley Cyrus and Miley is “Crazy”.

  4. Since I don’t find Miley problematic or needing to apologize I can just be happy for all the positive she’s doing.

  5. I don’t really get what’s so “problematic” about Miley Cyrus. She likes to be naked and she does maybe does drugs sometimes? She’s got a big tongue?

    Other than participating in a performance of Blurred Lines (and let’s face it, we’ve all sung along to that song before and/or until we realized how horrendous the lyrics were), I’m not aware of anything she does that’s so “problematic,” especially at this point. She’s clearly body- and sex-positive, which must have been a little bit shocking for the moms who previously knew her from Hannah Montana, but isn’t that something that our community generally condones?

    • The problematic aspects of her performance lie around her use of black people as props and cultural appropriation. I’m not terribly familiar with the exact details, but that’s the gist.

  6. Wary as I am about all celeb activism, she seems like she’s headed in the right direction.

  7. It’s unfair of Audrey to attack the author of the TIME article (Katy Steinmetz) for “deadnam[ing] Caitlyn Jenner”. Steinmetz’s piece is explicitly clear that it was written BEFORE Jenner(a) announced what name she wanted to be known by and AFTER Jenner asked that the media continue to use her prior name and gender until otherwise advised. If anyone bears responsibility for the deadnaming during the period between the Sawyer Interview and the Vanity Fair cover, it’s Jenner–not TIME and not Steinmetz. Similarly, Cyrus *doesn’t* see herself as Trans, so in a Trans context she *is* an ally–in the same way that I, as a Trans woman, strive to be an ally to my Enby, Non Binary, Genderqueer and Gender Fluid comrades without being a part of their communities. I’ve worked with Steinmetz on articles before and she’s always treated me and the others cited in her articles with the utmost respect and professionalism. To accuse her of “deadnaming” and misnaming Cyrus as an ally as simply wrong.

    • I think a lot of us were uncomfortable during the period when Jenner asked that we still use her old name and pronouns after coming out in the Diane Sawyer thing. One wants to honor her wishes, but generally in the community we’ve been taught against utilizing old names and pronouns so strongly that it feels incredibly wrong to do so. I also wonder what conclusions the greater public (outside the LGBTQ+ community) took away from that time period. Hopefully it was the idea that we should honor a person’s wishes, and NOT the idea that it’s fine to revert back to old names and pronouns whenever…

      • I agree that Jenner’s request spread confusion among the Muggles and that it would have been easier for Trans folks in general if she hadn’t made it. But she did-and Steinmetz and many others tried to comply with it in good faith. From my perspective as a Trans woman, if we’re going to “blame” anyone for that, we should blame Jenner and not those who were simply following her declared preferences. Obviously, post-Vanity Fair, there’s no reason to refer to Jenner’s deadname, but that wasn’t the situation when the TIME piece on Cyrus ran.

    • Howdy, sorry to be jumping in a little late. I see where y’all are coming from, and I apologize that the line came off snarkier or harsher than necessary. I didn’t mean to make a personal attack on the author, certainly. However, it would have been easy to write the sentence that includes Caitlyn’s dead name without it (the events in question took place before VF, but the article was published after – “Caitlyn Jenner, who had not yet come out using that name” would have sufficed), and the piece doesn’t really acknowledge that Miley seems to identify somewhere under the larger trans and non-binary umbrella, which seems critical in a piece about her work on behalf of those communities. So that’s where I was coming from! But I should have given the author more credit for the many things this piece gets right, and I’ll check out her previous work. Thanks for bringing it up, Christina!

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