Ava Phillippe Says 'Gender Is Whatever' When It Comes To Her Sexuality

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Ava Phillippe casually admitted she doesn’t consider gender when it comes to her sexuality — a stark difference from mom Reese Witherspoon’s upbringing

Growing up with two famous parents means that Ava Phillippe has been in the spotlight herself for her entire life. But it seems like she’s all about embracing who she is with zero shame or fanfare — as she should — casually revealing on social media that she doesn’t consider gender when it comes to her sexuality.

During a recent Q&A session on her Instagram Stories, the 22-year-old addressed a question about her sexuality. A fan asked her, “Do u like boys or girls?” and she responded in the most chill way. Sharing a smiley selfie, she wrote, “I’m attracted to … people!” clarifying underneath in parentheses, “Gender is whatever.”

Ava Phillippe/Instagram

Though the post has since expired, it began picking up speed by way of headlines and social media attention, with Ava taking to Instagram Stories to remind trolls that her “Instagram profile is not a place for cruelty/hate speech” and that she will “block profiles commenting bigoted/hateful messages” under her posts.

Neither Ava’s mom, Reese Witherspoon, nor her dad, Ryan Phillippe, have addressed their eldest daughter’s comments, but Witherspoon has been open about how sexuality wasn’t discussed in her own upbringing — something she’s seemingly doing differently in her role as a mom to three kids.

In a 2020 interview with Variety, the actress shared of reflecting on her childhood in Nashville. “‘What did my mom say about sexuality, race, class? What were the things that I was told that maybe were true or not true? How was I insensitive?’ No one spoke to me about sexuality when I was a teenager. I didn’t understand what homosexuality was. My grandparents didn’t explain it; my parents didn’t explain it. I had to learn from somebody I met on an audition in Los Angeles.”

Back in 2016, she echoed those sentiments during an interview with Chelsea Handler, telling the host, “I grew up, obviously, in the South and there is amazing, wonderful connectivity and people are loving and communicative. But there is a tiny aspect of it, people [that] use parts of the Bible in order to express their intolerance and their hate and they manipulate it.”

It certainly seems like Ava has an incredible support system in her closest family members, which is sadly still a rarity for LGBTQ+ youth, who are all too frequently met with discrimination, hatred, and a lack of acceptance by their loved ones, with many forced to seek shelter and safety elsewhere. Here’s hoping Ava’s candor and honesty will help create a safer world for all LGBTQ+ youth trying to navigate their identity in a world that doesn’t always love them for who they are.