Bella Thorne Is Bisexual: The Disney Star/Actress Comes Out On Twitter

ALLI HARVEY/GETTY IMAGES FOR FAST COMPANY

At age 18, Bella Thorne is an accomplished dancer, actor, singer and Disney star, and now, thanks to Twitter, we also know she’s an accomplished bisexual as well. The star of the Disney Channel’s Shake it Off, a dance show co-starring Zendaya, answered a fan who sent the question “are you bisexual?” with a simple “yes.”

https://twitter.com/bellathorne/status/768161844334735361

Obviously, coming out isn’t really ever simple, and I applaud Thorne for her courage. She recently broke up with her long time boyfriend, and the spotlight is on her. It must be especially difficult since she’s so young, at just 18 years old, and is a woman in Hollywood. Congratulations and we’re proud of you. We hope your life in the bisexual community and LGBTQ community is a good one and that you find acceptance and support and affirmation. You deserve it.

Thorne in a promotional image for Scream.

Thorne in a promotional image for Scream.

Thorne has been in the spotlight for a long time, and scored her first major TV role on the show Dirty, Sexy, Money, costarring trans actress Candis Cayne, in 2007 when she was only 10 years old. Since then, she’s also had roles in TV shows like My Own Worst Enemy and Big Love, as well as movies like Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad DayBlended, and last year’s Mae Whitman high school comedy The Duff. She then started co-starring in Shake it Up in 2010, which is when her career really started taking off and she started also dancing and recording music (as Disney stars are wont to do). Her single “Watch Me” reached number 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Autostraddle readers might recognize her from her role as Nina on the MTV television adaption of Scream.

https://twitter.com/gabydunn/status/768227957009592322

When the news broke, fans on Twitter were very supportive, so much so that Thorne Tweeted out “Aww thank you for all the accepting tweets from everyone. I love you guys” followed by three heart emojis and the hashtag pride. Noted funny person, celebrity millenial and bisexual social media superstar Gaby Dunn also offered her support, noting that Stephanie Beatriz, Mara Wilson and Evan Rachel Wood Bisexual are also there at the party. Hey, don’t forget Rebecca Sugar and Aubrey Plaza, who also came out as bisexual this summer. Now that sounds like a party I’d love to be at, unfortunately, I’m just a lesbian.

Again, congratulations to Bella Thorne, we wish you happiness, joy and success.

Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 574 articles for us.

40 Comments

  1. I love seeing celebs using their power for good and wholesome things, such as inspiring a new generation of young (and old) queer people to feel comfortable in themselves, as opposed to using it for bad things, such as spreading homophobia, or encouraging us to eat pineapple on pizza, or something equally as horrendous.

  2. I do not know who this it, but my fb trending sidebar told me that she came out after pictures of her kissing a girl came out. All the power in the world to her, I just hope that it was her decision to not hide rather than intrusive pictures circulating, y’know?
    But like you said, she’s got an invite to a super cool party. Best of luck to her.

  3. 1. Good for her
    2. Coming out would be so much more convenient if we had more people literally asking “Are you bisexual?” Then we would would have more time to become *accomplished* bisexuals.

  4. I’m about to be the one who rains on the parade again….

    For those of you who don’t know, this person is known for being an attention seeker. I think the pictures of her kissing another girl are a publicity stunt.

    That aside, it’s not helping our cause if every boring, vapid female celebrity bygone about to fade into obscurity receives a renewal of attention by “coming out” as bisexual. It’s actually actively hurting us because these stunts reinforce all negative bisexual stereotypes. Aside from that, she hasn’t really done anything notable or praiseworthy. Where were you when coming out would have hurt your career, not given it the boost it needs to keep you around? Woohoo, you kissed a girl. So have 90% of self identified straight women I’ve met. You’re not edgy and you’re not doing anything for the community

    I hate to be negative on these posts where everyone’s got the confetti out, but it’s something so near and dear to my heart. I get really emotional about it. I appreciate autostraddle for giving me a safe place to voice my concerns. Thanks for reading my jumble of feelings.

    • i *feeeeeel likeeeee* it’s not anyone’s place to tell bella thorne or anyone at all on the earth how they identify? even if you have a lot of qualms about straight women kissing other women.

      also, calling a queer woman’s coming out an attention grab is sexist and boring. particularly when you pair it with a paragraph you dedicated to tearing down her credibility as a ~REAL~ bisexual woman and ~REAL~ actress. she’s still a person.

      • I have no qualms about straight women kissing other women. I have a problem with an overprivileged white celebrity known for attention seeking antics/publicity stunts being lauded as a hero for calling herself bisexual. No one has to prove their sexuality, but I’ll be interested to see if she contributes to the LGBT community in any meaningful way.

    • I think it’s interesting you insist on calling this celebrity (who I am assuming you don’t know personally, and so are just going off of her public persona) vapid, boring, attention-seeking, “not edgy,” and “doing nothing for us” by coming out — and then thanking AS for being a safe space.

      Why tear another queer woman down? And who are you to judge whether or not she is sincere?

      A person – celebrity or not – doesn’t come out ‘for us,’ they do it for themselves. When that leads to greater visibility for the community, that’s wonderful.

      As for her not having done anything ‘notable or praiseworthy,’ according to your judgments, what in the world does that have to do with anything? Honestly, Autostraddle could publish articles about people I have never met, living in Wisconsin and teaching first grade, coming out – and I would say the same thing in the comments:

      Awesome! Welcome! I’m so glad you were able to share and live your truth today! <3

    • I agree.

      I won’t go as far as to call her vapid but from the stories she has about her on the net every now and again she’s either doing something for attention or putting other celebrities down (she has ongoing feuds with a few young starlets). That being said, my first reaction was she was saying this for attention. Not that I’m accusing her of being “fake” gay or even bi but in this day and age many young girls claim bi for attention, not necessarily because they are bi for reals.

      • Really? Who/where are these “many young girls” and how do you personally know they aren’t actually bi? Unless they say with their own mouths that they were faking it for attention, you can’t tell if someone is bi “for reals” based on who they date, and yes that includes even if a bi woman never ends up dating another woman her whole life.

        • I have never and will never claim to possess some litmus test for bisexuality. In fact, one of the things we’ve fought for is to not have to prove ourselves. As I said, i suspect it’s a publicity stunt but I did not claim she’s a fake bisexual. I guess what bothers me is that she’s held up and praised for this from her place as an overprivileged white actress who will likely do nothing for the cause.

          Many young girls: Miley. Cara Dev-whatever who got praised despite saying she thinks she’s bisexual because she’s “damaged.”‘ That one Nickelodeon girl who said “love is love.” There are a lot more

      • I mean, she’s 18. Of course she wasn’t around doing queer activism 5, 10 years ago. That’s not an expectation I have of young queer people. Their first job is figuring shit out. I don’t get what the satisfaction is in calling out “fake” bisexuals. There’s no prize for being right, and also, it’s not like we have a large number of celebrities saying, “JK, I was straight all along!” Also, what would she have to do to make it believable to you that she is bisexual? (Not that she needs approval from anyone,) it just seems like this scrutiny is applied almost always to young, femme women, especially famous ones, unless they have a gay relationship to “validate” their identity, which sucks! I was gay when I came out at 17 even though I had no girlfriend to speak of. Even though I’d had boyfriends. Even though I had made out with “straight” girls under “just fun” pretenses. She deserves the same open arms that I was lucky to find when I finally dove into the queer community, since she hasn’t really done anything wrong besides…being bi. Which makes her family! Not in the wrong or on probation or anything, just family, who deserves the benefit of y’alls doubt.
        I have feelings about this. Haha.

        • Thank you for your thoughts and not getting angry by my use of the word vapid 😉 I am also a feminine bisexual woman who came out 15 years ago at age 18. I was not welcomed with open arms by the the LGBT community. I’ve had tons of lesbians tell me with disgust that they never would date a bisexual. In fact, I’ve worked really hard for the community and fought for B’s recognition.

          I try not to be all “get off my lawn,” but it’s really hard at times. I need to work on articulating my position or figuring out why it’s so triggering for me, I guess.

          • No one queer is required to be an activist. She doesn’t have to “do” anything for the community. If she does, that’s awesome. If she doesn’t, she’s allowed to live her own life.

          • But like, if you felt like you weren’t accepted when you came out 15 years ago, why do you feel it’s relevant to write several posts about a person you don’t even know trying to discredit her sexuality? Isn’t that persevering the same patterns?

            I’m of the opinion that a person is one thing as long as they say they are that one thing. If she says she is bi, I, who did not know who this person was until like a day ago, have absolutely no reason to discredit that. Shouldn’t we all do the same in order to make ourselves more inclusive and idk, friendly?

        • Really? Look at the rest of the comments and look at my comment and the responses to it. I only see praise for her. I’ll try to respond more eloquently to another reply so maybe my position will make more sense

      • Thank you. Would we celebrate Charlie Sheen if he came out as bi? I don’t think so, yet people are acting like she’s a hero for coming out without knowing anything about her.

        • Well, this is a site for queer women, so no I’m not going to get excited if Charlie Sheen came out as bi. And this woman is only eighteen. What is there to know about her? She’s a teenager. I see no reason to bully a teenager, adult or not.

          • I’m sorry that you felt it necessary for me to use a female analogue to get my point across. Oh man, you’re right, I’m just being a big bad bully to an overprivileged, overpaid adult with thousands of fans who doesn’t read this site. Have a good day!

  5. What doesn’t hurt bi women: young celebrities coming out as bi

    What does hurt bi women:

    – The “bi for attention” stereotype
    – The burden placed on bi women to “prove” we belong in the LGBTQ+ community through hyper-visible activism
    – The fact that no matter who we are, our visibility is always seen as non-ideal or non-representative
    – The fact that even a scrap of notice given to bi women who come out is somehow seen as prioritizing the wrong people for the wrong reasons
    – The derision that mentally ill bi women (and there are so many of us!) face for connecting their bisexuality with their mental illness in any way

    Look, I think I understand where you’re coming from – it is really hard to watch young famous people casually come out as bi and be praised for it when one’s own experience of being bi has been seemingly much more fraught and complicated and difficult and meaningful. I sometimes have an “ugh, get off my lawn” reaction, too. But honestly, for me, I think that’s internalized biphobia talking. I think when I have that reaction, I’m looking at these young famous women through the same dismissive and discriminatory lens through which the world looks at me. So I really try to fight that impulse. There’s simply no way to have it without resorting to harmful stereotyping.

    • Thank you! You’ve provided the only really well-thought-out and insightful comment I was seeking by expressing my maybe-screwed-up feelings on the matter. I’m glad you can relate. Sometimes I feel I’m screaming to the wind. I’ll think about what you wrote the next time a young celebrity comes out. I will try to find some point of solidarity instead of rolling my eyes.

      Bisexuals have one of the highest rates of mental illness in the LGBT community (with all the crap we must deal with, can we be blamed??). I think we should DEFINITELY be addressed but I disagree with the notion that queerness comes from some fundamental “brokeness.” I guess I feel it undermines our identity in some way.

      On that note, this will be the last comment I make on autostraddle. I thought it was a safe space but those who commented on my original post have proved me wrong. I was looking for constructive discussion but ended up feeling very attacked. I’m tired of being told, yet again, that my feelings are invalid by people (mainly monosexuals) who presume they know anything about me. Very hypocritical. In fact, I think I’m done with this site for good knowing the readership it attracts. Thanks to the wonderful writers for all the great articles over the years. And thank you for not censoring me! 🙂

      • Nah, I think if you look back and the discussion your original post generated, you’ll see that it was a constructive discussion. You offered a perspective, and people critiqued it. People weren’t attacking you as a person.

        I have no reason to doubt that this young woman is telling the truth about her sexuality – people still get enough shit for being LGBT that I highly doubt many people would pretend to be so if they weren’t. But honestly, if people actually pretending to be like me (a bisexual woman) to be cool, I’m more flattered than annoyed (even thought that’s a very silly thing to do – just be yourself!). We should be happy that being LGBT isn’t as big of a deal for young people as it was for many of us when we were first coming out – no one should have to suffer as a result of their sexuality.

      • I’m also bisexual and your original comment felt like an attack on me. I’m glad you like this response better, but your feelings aren’t more valid than those of the people who read your comment and felt it was hurtful and full of internalized biphobia.

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