Despite its brevity, things were serious in this relationship—at least according to one of its members. Today, Kaitlynn Carter revealed she loved Miley Cyrus in a new personal essay published to Elle.com, and we aren’t surprised, per se. Kaitlynn—a 32-year-old blogger and divorcee of Brody Jenner—was Miley’s friend long before entering into a relationship with her. Friends don’t just stir up a fling unless they’re really sure it’s worth risking a friendship over it. And for Kaitlynn, it looks like it was.
“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,” she writes in the new piece, “but until that trip it had never crossed my mind to think of her in a romantic sense.” The trip Kaitlynn’s referring to here is her summer vacation in Italy with Miley, which made headlines when a photo appeared showing the pair kissing on a boat only moments after Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth announced their divorce.
For what it’s worth, Kaitlynn explains a perspective on the divorce that many of us haven’t considered: “as my friend and I spent that August traveling through Europe together and trying to move past our respective break-ups,” she writes, “my first and only romance with a woman was born.” It makes sense that this relationship developed out of an existing platonic connection, then. Both ladies were fresh off of their own experiences with heartbreak, and a broken heart is so often an open heart, too.
Yet what this all meant for Miley was probably a great deal less weighty than it was for Kaitlynn. As mentioned, this was Carter’s first-ever relationship for a woman, and while she acknowledges how “the relationship with my friend was often referenced in the media as merely a ‘summer fling’ or a ‘same-sex affair,’” to her, “it was so much more than that. This was a profound journey of self-discovery.” We don’t doubt it.
Miley, on the other hand, still looks like she has some more discovering to do. While this wasn’t her first relationship with a woman, she remains unclear about her impact and voice within the LGBTQ community. Recently, Cyrus took to Instagram Stories to share some upsetting LGBTQ comments, where she attempted to suggest that women who date women “don’t have to be gay,” because there are still some “good men out there.” This isn’t the cringiest thing she’s done after splitting from Kaitlynn—after all, the “good” guy she referenced was Cody Simpson, who she started dating in record time after her second breakup of the summer. Together, they’ve pushed the limits of PDA by making out over dinner tables and posting some definitely NSFW photos to Instagram together, making us question what Miley’s really after here. Flaunting her relationship seems to be really important to the 26-year-old pop singer—even if it’s at the expense of Kaitlynn Carter and Liam Hemsworth’s feelings.
As for Kaitlynn, she’s remaining poised. “While it was short-lived, I’ll remain eternally grateful to my most recent relationship for opening my eyes to this unexplored part of myself,” she writes at the end of her essay, “and for inspiring a new level of self-discovery and wonder at all the possibilities of life.” Classy, Carter.