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Unless you've lived under a rock this summer, you've likely seen the PDA pics of Miley Cyrus and Kaitlynn Carter (opens in new tab) vacationing in Italy, which went viral a couple days before news broke that Miley and Liam were splitting up (opens in new tab) after less than one year of marriage. This came as a shock not only to Miley/Liam shippers, but also to Brody Jenner/Kaitlynn Carter fans who were still coping with the couple's fresh breakup as well.
In what seemed like a whirlwind romance filled with gossip-y headlines, Cyrus and Carter were riding the wave...until they broke up in September (opens in new tab). For the first time since, Carter opened up publicly about their relationship in an essay for ELLE (opens in new tab). Despite the headlines that hinted Cyrus and Carter were simply a "summer fling," Carter says she was actually in love with Cyrus:
"This past July, I went on vacation with a female friend; the next thing I knew, I was in love with her. It wasn’t quite that simple, of course. But it also wasn’t very complicated, either."
She continues, "I fell just as hard for her as I had the older man so many years before. It was that same familiar force of nature; I didn’t have to think about a thing or overanalyze. It just happened and it felt exactly right. Reflecting back on our three-year friendship, I realized I’d always been drawn to her in a way I wasn’t with other friends, but until that trip it had never crossed my mind to think of her in a romantic sense."
Throughout the essay, Carter speaks about her struggle with identifying her sexuality, and encourages everyone to "take the time to understand who exactly their most authentic selves are, untethered from what we may have been taught to believe."
Read Carter's full essay on ELLE.com here (opens in new tab).
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Rachel Epstein is an editor at Marie Claire, where she writes and edits culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also manages the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game, finding a new coffee shop, or analyzing your cousin's birth chart—in no particular order.
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