Miley Cyrus continues to be outspoken about her love life and sexuality.
The singer, 26, has had high-profile romances with multiple exes, both men and women, most recently announcing her split from husband Liam Hemsworth after seven months of marriage and a decade of on-off dating. (A source tells PEOPLE the pair actually split several months ago.)
PEOPLE exclusively confirmed on Saturday that Cyrus and Hemsworth had separated, with her rep stating: “Ever-evolving, changing as partners and individuals, they have decided this is what’s best while they both focus on themselves and careers.”
Cyrus met Hemsworth in 2009 on the set of Nicholas Sparks’ romantic drama The Last Song, and had a rocky, on-again, off-again relationship for years before he proposed in 2012. The two ended their engagement and broke up a year later, before reconciling in 2015. Then in December 2018, they wed during an intimate ceremony at their home in Franklin, Tennessee.
Cyrus, who is a longtime LGBTQ advocate, has not shied away from sharing her candid views on sexuality. From tweeting about dreams of locking lips with Katy Perry to opening about her sexual desires with her family, here is everything Cyrus has said about non-conforming love.
The former Disney Channel star recalled the conversation she had with mother Tish Cyrus about her sexuality at age 14. “I remember telling her I admire women in a different way. And she asked me what that meant. And I said ‘I love them. I love them like I love boys.’ And it was so hard for her to understand,” Miley told Paper magazine in June 2015.
“She didn’t want me to be judged and she didn’t want me to go to hell. But she believes in me more than she believes in any God. I just asked for her to accept me. And she has,” she continued, later adding, “I don’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to boy or girl.”
In 2015, Cyrus came out as pansexual and that same year: she dated Patrick Schwarzenegger for five months in 2015. Then shortly after they broke up, Cyrus was seen kissing Victoria’s Secret model Stella Maxwell.
“My whole life, I didn’t understand my own gender and my own sexuality. 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,” she told Variety in October 2016.
“My first relationship in my life was with a chick. I grew up in a very religious Southern family. Once I understood my gender more, which was unassigned, then I understood my sexuality more. I was like, ‘Oh—that’s why I don’t feel straight and I don’t feel gay. It’s because I’m not,’ ” Cyrus explained.
Free to Be Miley
One of her earliest quotes about sexuality came in 2013, when she told the Toronto Sun: “Everyone said I was a lesbian but I’m like, being a lesbian isn’t a bad thing. So if you think I look like I’m a lesbian, I’m not offended. You can call me much worse. Being a lesbian is a compliment.”
Similarly, in 2015, Cyrus further revealed in her Paper interview about coming into her own sexuality. “I am literally open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age,” she said. “Everything that’s legal, I’m down with. Yo, I’m down with any adult — anyone over the age of 18 who is down to love me.”
That same year, the star encouraged her fans to “just be whatever you want to be” in honor of Pride Month, telling Time magazine: “I don’t associate men and protection necessarily. I think that’s what’s given me the openness of sexuality. Not that my dad wasn’t an awesome protector, but I trust my mom to save me. She’s the prince. I never had that fairy tale.”
Cyrus also shared how she felt an “overly macho energy” that she didn’t like when she would be around certain men. “That made me feel like I had to be a femme-bot, which I’m not. And then when I was with a girl, I felt like, ‘Oh s—, she’s going to need someone to protect her, so I’m going to need to have this macho energy.’ And that didn’t feel right either,” she said, later adding, “I thought, ‘I’m not living like this.’ … If I end up in a straight relationship, that’s fine — but I’m not going to be with f—ing slob guys.”
Cyrus told the Associated Press in 2015 that not all her past relationships were “straight, heterosexual” ones. Though she did not further specify what she meant at the time, the actress would later elaborate on her romantic preferences.
In the months after her December 2018 wedding to Hemsworth, Cyrus made it clear on multiple occasions that although she was in a heterosexual relationship, she still identifies as queer.
“The reason that people get married sometimes can be old-fashioned, but I think the reason we got married isn’t old-fashioned — I actually think it’s kind of New Age,” she told Vanity Fair for their March cover story. “We’re redefining, to be f—ing frank, what it looks like for someone that’s a queer person like myself to be in a hetero relationship.”
Cyrus continued, “What I preach is: People fall in love with people, not gender, not looks, not whatever. What I’m in love with exists on almost a spiritual level. It has nothing to do with sexuality. Relationships and partnerships in a new generation — I don’t think they have so much to do with sexuality or gender. Sex is actually a small part, and gender is a very small, almost irrelevant part of relationships.”
Though she admitted marriage was “kind of out of character for me,” Cyrus still made her stance clear: “Like, who gives a f— if he’s a guy, if I’m a girl, or if he was a woman — who gives a f—? We really are stronger together. One is the loneliest number.”
“I think it’s very confusing to people that I’m married. But my relationship is unique,” Cyrus said of her and Hemsworth.
“I don’t know that I would ever publicly allow people in there because it’s so complex, and modern, and new that I don’t think we’re in a place where people would get it,” she shared. “I mean, do people really think that I’m at home in a f—ing apron cooking dinner? I’m in a hetero relationship, but I still am very sexually attracted to women.”
Cyrus added: “People become vegetarian for health reasons, but bacon is still f–ing good, and I know that. I made a partner decision. This is the person I feel has my back the most. I definitely don’t fit into a stereotypical wife role. I don’t even like that word.”