I feel sorry for Kaitlynn Carter. I felt sorry for her when she was dating Miley Cyrus too – it was obvious to me that Miley was using Kaitlynn to get attention and to “get at” Liam Hemsworth in a big way. I worried that Kaitlynn might have real feelings for Miley and that Miley was just stunt-queening. Two months after Kaitlynn and Miley started, they were over. Miley dumped her because Kaitlynn was in love with her and wanted to be with her and Miley was just looking for a stunt. So Kaitlynn got left behind and Cody Simpson became Miley’s latest stunt. So, what is Kaitlynn up to now? Writing essays for Elle Magazine where she talks about how she looks upon those two months with Miley as a journey of self-discovery. Honestly, that’s probably one of the best “silver lining” explanations. You can read the Elle piece here. Here’s part of it:
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. Until that trip, it had never crossed my mind that I was even capable of loving a woman the way I loved her. But after reflecting on my romantic history, I realized that I’ve never really had a “type.”
…When I was 22, I fell in love with a brilliant but much older man. He was quick, interesting, and the funniest person I’ve ever known. My friends and family didn’t “get it.” In their eyes, our age difference made us an odd match. But there was a chemistry that drew me to him as if I had no say in the matter.
At 25, I met the man I would eventually choose to marry. The legitimacy of that marriage has become a matter of public debate, but for he and I, it was very real. He was quite possibly the most beautiful man on the planet, with a heart of gold and a tireless sense of adventure. I was drawn to his spirit. “You’ll never be bored!” my mom offered, as I wondered early on whether or not he was the right partner for me. Of course, she was right: I was never bored. He became my best friend, and together we had all the fun the world had to offer. Eventually though, after years of constant “excitement,” we found we’d done as much growing apart as we’d done growing up. I began to spend a lot of time traveling on my own or with friends, quietly mourning what I knew in my heart would soon be the end of my marriage.
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. 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.
Recently I’ve found myself wondering why and how my brain had been programmed to ignore an attraction that in retrospect seems so evident to me. I believe it was all just a matter of chemistry that had nothing to do with gender. 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. 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.
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, and for inspiring a new level of self-discovery and wonder at all the possibilities of life. I’ve been forced to get to know myself in a far deeper way than ever before, and not just in terms of my sexual preferences. I’ve also been forced to reckon with who I am as a person. Although the relationship with my friend was often referenced in the media as merely a “summer fling” or a “same-sex affair,” it was so much more than that. This was a profound journey of self-discovery.
Twenty years ago, this probably would have been a more headline-grabbing essay, but in a culture that increasingly embraces queer identity, experimentation and sexual fluidity, it just seems sort of… obvious. I mean, I get it – she never really thought about having a sexual relationship with a woman before Miley. And now that she’s been in a relationship with a woman, she’s trying to figure out if she would be open to dating more women. As I said, painting this mess as a silver-lining voyage of self-discovery is a good way to look at it. Oh, and Brody Jenner seems to believe that they were never legally married, so…
Photos courtesy of Instagram, Backgrid.