While Miley Cyrus is busy Tik-Tok-ing, couples costuming and generally spamming your feed with new boyfriend Cody Simpson, her ex-girlfriend Kaitlynn Carter has written a revealing essay about their summer of love.
After both women split with their respective husbands earlier this year, the two embarked on a short-lived relationship marked by Lake Como cruises, flirty Instagram captions and post-breakup glow-ups.
“This past July, I went on vacation with a female friend; the next thing I knew, I was in love with her,” Carter writes in an essay for Elle published on Monday. “It wasn’t quite that simple, of course. But it also wasn’t very complicated, either.”
“Until that trip, it had never crossed my mind that I was even capable of loving a woman the way I loved her,” she continues. “But after reflecting on my romantic history, I realized that I’ve never really had a ‘type.’”
Cyrus’ name is never used in the essay, but Carter explains that while she and her friend were “trying to move past our respective break-ups,” her “first and only romance with a woman was born.”
“The Hills: New Beginnings” star goes on to reveal that their connection not only made her question her sexuality, but also the pressure to label something when it just feels “exactly right.”
“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,” Carter writes. “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.”
Cyrus and Carter reportedly split in September after less than two months of dating. Multiple outlets, as well as their own Instagram flirting, however, indicated that the two were still on good terms.
Cyrus, who has yet to publicly address the essay, has since moved on with Simpson, an Australian singer and model she started dating in October.
Carter doesn’t reveal exactly why she and the “Hannah Montana” alum went their separate ways, only remarking that their romance was “short-lived,” but writes that she remains “eternally grateful to my most recent relationship for opening my eyes to this unexplored part of myself.”
She does, however, take issue with the media coverage that described their experience together as “merely a ‘summer fling’ or a ‘same-sex affair,’” as it became a defining chapter in her life.
The reality star concludes the essay by encouraging others to discover “who exactly their most authentic selves are, untethered from what we may have been taught to believe.”
And as for her own future, Carter isn’t ready to commit to any one label ― or any one person ― for the time being, despite what other people may think.
“I still don’t feel like I’m in a place to label my sexuality one way or another, but I’m okay with that,” she writes. “It’s something I’m still exploring and figuring out. It’s been interesting to watch friends and strangers alike assume I’ll automatically revert to being attracted to men, as if they’re more familiar with my sexuality than I am. Even I don’t entirely understand what my experience this summer means for me going forward — and it’s my experience.
To read Carter’s full essay, head over to Elle.