Singer Miley Cyrus has spoken out about rumours that she is a lesbian to say that it “isn’t a bad thing”, and that she takes it as “a compliment”.

The 20-year-old star has often faced rumours around her sexuality, particularly when she recently changed her image, cutting her hair short and bleaching it.

She spoke of being featured on Maxim magazine’s cover, and that she was proud her image had gotten her voted to number one in its annual hot list.

“Everyone said I was a lesbian but I’m like, ‘Being a lesbian isn’t a bad thing. So if you think I look like I’m a lesbian, I’m not offended. You can call me much worse,'” she said.

“Being a lesbian is a compliment more than what else they call me.

“People think short hair, they think tomboy… and I’ve obviously done the opposite ’cause when I cut my hair, I did my first Maxim cover where I got No 1 [in their annual hot list].

“And it wasn’t about me being the sexiest. It was about the fans voting. But it’s something I loved. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Maxim cover with a girl with short hair.”

Cyrus recently joined those in support of the Disney Channel’s decision to for the first time include same-sex parents in one of its flagship programmes.