Happy birthday to my beautiful babygirl. I'm so proud of the person you have become.. you inspire me to work harder and be smarter. I love you to the moon and back ❤️❤️❤️ @bellapendergast the love you have for animals is the love I have for you❤️ so you can put it in perspective 😙😍 #happybirthday #tbt
In news that relates to my lengthy obit of Lou Pearlman—viewed through a gay prism—teen star Bella Thorne has confirmed she is bisexual, responding with a simple yes in a Snapchat session when a fan asked.
I know a lot of LGBTQ adults are pretty jaded by now, but to have a big Disney Channel star come out as one of us is nothing to sneeze at. Bella was the co-lead (along with fellow breakout star Zendaya) of the series Shake It Up from 2010-2013, and as such I worked with her often, usually from afar. As the founding EIC of a major teen mag, I made her one of my picks for kids who would blow up in the future—a choice I made in 2012. I am nothing if not a good judge of star quality!
I did not, however, guess she would come out as bi four years after our big party (see video of her appearance there above), nor did I think any kid stars would be doing such a thing back then. It's not that we helped young people stay closeted or tamped down gay news, it's just that the topic really never came up. None of them were out, none of them were discussing the topic.
Since then, Raven-Symoné has come out, and now Bella, whose coming-out is even earlier in her life.
It seems like being LGBTQ is becoming more and more mainstream, and that has to be good for children discovering themselves. So ... good for Bella. I'm proud to have covered her way back when.