In a November 4th op-ed for Elle, Kaitlynn Carter writes about falling in love with friend Miley Cyrus, whom she did not name in the piece, and being open with herself about her sexuality. She says that up until she entered into her relationship with Cyrus, she wasn’t even aware that she was “capable of loving a woman the way I loved her.” Then again, she writes, she never gave her romantic-partner “type” that much thought. It’s a candid piece that feels so relatable in terms of our society’s desire to put a brand on individuals’ sexualities while we all just want to live as our authentic selves.

Until now, Carter has remained relatively quiet while tabloids and fans have speculated about her relationships. Now, she’s been given a chance to speak for herself, in her own words.

“I know I’m not alone in feeling pressure to explain or define myself in one way or another,” Carter adds.

In the piece, Carter mentions that Mark Ronson was recently “lampooned” for identifying himself as a sapiosexual, someone who is attracted to intelligence rather than gender. “I also find myself attracted to people in a way that seems disconnected from sex and physical traits, and more connected to a person’s mind,” she says.

Carter tells the story of her relationship with her “friend,” who seems to clearly be Cyrus, which evolved after both women respectively split from their husbands, Brody Jenner and Liam Hemsworth.

“Shortly thereafter, as my friend and I spent that August traveling through Europe together and trying to move past our respective break-ups, my first and only romance with a woman was born,” she writes. She and Cyrus posted photos of their vacation on Instagram in August.

Carter writes that she fell for Cyrus, whom she had been friends with for three years prior, and their love felt so natural: “It just happened and it felt exactly right.”

Carter adds that she had always felt an attraction to her, yet “programmed” herself to ignore the attraction as something romantic.

Carter also refuses the tabloid narrative that her relationship was a “summer fling” or “same sex affair.” Instead, she calls it “a profound journey of self-discovery.”

In the interview, she also discussed her prior long-term relationships, including her 2018 marriage to The Hills: New Beginnings star Jenner.

She sensed their relationship was coming to a close as summer 2019 neared. Carter began traveling on her own or with friends, and “quietly mourning what I knew in my heart would soon be the end of my marriage.” She and Jenner ultimately split in August 2019.

Carter’s piece urges readers to spend some time with themselves to better understand who they are rather than who they have shaped themselves to be based on what they’ve been taught by society. Peel back the layers, Carter implored, and “remain curious.” We’re glad Carter is speaking up for herself, her experiences, and her sexuality. She’s refusing to be defined by others, and we have to applaud her.