Miley Cyrus explained in a new interview that she identifies as pansexual, telling Variety that her first relationship was with a member of the same sex.
Chatting with the mag for their “Women of Power” issue, the “Wrecking Ball” singer, 23, opened up about her first love while discussing her sexual identity.
“My whole life, I didn’t understand my own gender and my own sexuality,” she told the publication. “I always hated the word bisexual, because that’s even putting me in a box. I don’t ever think about someone being a boy or someone being a girl … My eyes started opening in the fifth or sixth grade. My first relationship in my life was with a chick.”
Cyrus, who came out as pansexual earlier this year, told Variety that visiting Los Angeles’ LGBTQ center helped her become more comfortable in her own skin.
“I went to the LGBTQ center here in L.A., and I started hearing these stories,” the pop star said. “I saw one human in particular who didn’t identify as male or female. Looking at them, they were both: beautiful and sexy and tough but vulnerable and feminine but masculine. And I related to that person more than I related to anyone in my life.”
The former Hannah Montana actress — who founded the Happy Hippie Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to providing resources to LGBT youth, homeless citizens and other vulnerable communities, in 2015 — said that meeting another person like herself was eye-opening.
“Even though I may seem very different, people may not see me as neutral as I feel. But I feel very neutral. I think that was the first gender-neutral person I’d ever met,” she recounted. “Once I understood my gender more, which was unassigned, then I understood my sexuality more.”
Though the Voice coach is back together with longtime beau Liam Hemsworth, she told Variety that she doesn’t “feel straight,” but also doesn’t “feel gay.” She added: “It’s because I’m not.”
As previously reported, the couple met on the set of 2010’s The Last Song. Despite taking an extended break and calling off their engagement in 2013, they quietly started seeing each other again in December 2015.