Miley Cyrus' interest in women has never been a secret: A timeline of her straight and bisexual relationships

Back in 2009, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth famously met as teenagers on set of the romance film "The Last Song." What unfolded from there was a real-life romance, one even more tumultuous and consuming than anything Nicholas Sparks has ever written. 

And while news of Miley's rebound romance with Kaitlynn Cater has caught many by surprise, Miley has long been open about her interest in women. In fact, she came out as queer years ago, arguably before it became mainstream to confirm such information. Here in 2019, celebrities are pretty open about their sexual fluidity: Julianne Hough recently said she's "not straight"; Paris Jackson, Tessa Thompson and Lauren Jauregui have also spoken candidly on the subject.

Although it's impossible to know all that's transpired over the years, let's take a look at Miley's public journey in acknowledging her sexuality.

Pre-2009: Even during her Disney Channel years, Miley's relationships were already making waves. She and Nick Jonas were the It Couple of the teenage sphere during their Disney days, and they supposedly briefly reconciled not long before she met Liam. After she and Nick split, Miley was 15 when she began dating a 20-year-old singer named Justin Gaston.

2009 - 2014: Miley and Liam meet, fall in love, date, break up, date, break up, date again, and in June 2012 get engaged. In March 2013, Miley denies that the wedding is off, but by September, it's definitely off.

28 PHOTOS
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth through the years
See Gallery
Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth through the years
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 07: *EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, PREMIUM RATES APPLY* Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus attend the 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party at Pacific Design Center on March 7, 2010 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 25: Actress Miley Cyrus and actor Liam Hemsworth arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere 'The Last Song' at ArcLight Cinemas on March 25, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15: Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth sighting on April 15, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gustavo Munoz/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 21: Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth arrive at LAX airport on June 21, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 20: (EUROPE AND AUSTRALASIA OUT) American singer and actress, Miley Cyrus, with her Australian actor boyfriend Liam Hemsworth, shopping on Oxford Street, Paddington in Sydney, ahead of her Australian concert tour. (Photo by Justin Lloyd/Newspix/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 11: Actor Liam Hemsworth and actress/singer Miley Cyrus arrive at the 2011 CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute at The Shrine Auditorium on December 11, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Singer/actress Miley Cyrus and actor Liam Hemsworth arrive at the 2012 People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for PCA)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Miley Cyrus (L) and Liam Hemsworth arrive at the 2012 People's Choice Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for PCA)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 11: Actor Liam Hemsworth and Actress Miley Cyrus attends People's Choice Awards 2012 at Nokia Theatre LA Live on January 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for PCA)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Singer Miley Cyrus (L) and actor Liam Hemsworth attend the 20th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party at The City of West Hollywood Park on February 26, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Liam Hemsworth and actress/singer Miley Cyrus attend the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/VF12/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Liam Hemsworth and singer Miley Cyrus arrive at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus attends 'The Hunger Games' Los Angeles Premiere on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 24: Actress/singer Miley Cyrus (L) and actor Liam Hemsworth in the audience during Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XVIII held at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on March 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CFN)
Actor Liam Hemsworth kisses actress Miley Cyrus at their table at the Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XVIII on March 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. Fight Night supports the fight against Parkinson's disease and this year also celebrates Ali's 70th birthday. AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
CENTURY CITY, CA - JUNE 27: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Actor Liam Hemsworth and singer Miley Cyrus pose during Australians In Film Awards & Benefit Dinner at InterContinental Hotel on June 27, 2012 in Century City, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for AIF)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 16: Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth are seen on Melrose Blvd. on July 16, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 08: Actress Miley Cyrus and actor Liam Hemsworth attend the premiere of Relativity Media's 'Paranoia' at the DGA Theater on August 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BYRON BAY, NSW - APRIL 29: Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus seen on April 29, 2016 in Byron Bay, Australia. (Photo by Matrix/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth seen out in Manhattan on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16: Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus leave Catch on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
Actor Liam Hemsworth, from left, singer Miley Cyrus, former professional tennis player John McEnroe, and singer-songwriter Patty Smyth sit at a table during the Robin Hood Foundation's 'Love and Leadership' benefit in New York, U.S., on Monday, May 15, 2017. For 29 years,�Robin�Hood�has worked to get help to New York City's poor by burrowing deep into the pockets of its most affluent. Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg via Getty Images
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 10: Actor Liam Hemsworth (L) and Miley Cyrus at The World Premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Thor: Ragnarok' at the El Capitan Theatre on October 10, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Disney)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 10: Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus attend the premiere of Disney And Marvel's 'Thor: Ragnarok' on October 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 04: Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth attend the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones - Arrivals at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, CA. (Photo by Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MARCH 04: Miley Cyrus (L) and Liam Hemsworth attend the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage)
CULVER CITY, CA - JANUARY 26: Honoree Liam Hemsworth (L) and Miley Cyrus attend the 2019 G'Day USA Gala at 3LABS on January 26, 2019 in Culver City, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for G'Day USA )
CULVER CITY, CA - JANUARY 26: Honoree Liam Hemsworth (L) and Miley Cyrus attend the 2019 G'Day USA Gala at 3LABS on January 26, 2019 in Culver City, California. (Photo by John Sciulli/Getty Images for G'Day USA )
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

2014 - 2015: This is a two-year period of relatively few headlines about Miley's dating life, and based on her quotes to come, we can assume this is when she privately started dating both men and women.

April 2015: Miley, then 22, posted an Instagram photo of herself locking lips with a woman at a party. However, the salacious photo didn't really spark any dating rumors; the woman in question was model Frankie Rayder, now 44, who married her husband in 2005.

May 2015: As speculation mounted, the recently-single singer (she and Patrick Schwarzenegger had dated and then split) said she'd been in relationships that weren't "straight" or "heterosexual."

June 2015: During an interview with Time, Miley revealed she'd already dated both men and women. She readily admitted that there were pros and cons: Men "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--t, 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 then said that seeing other people's long-term heterosexual relationships often rubbed her the wrong way: "If I end up in a straight relationship, that's fine—but I'm not going to be with f---ing slob guys who are watching porn, making all their girls feel ugly."

32 PHOTOS
Miley Cyrus with mom Tish Cyrus through the years
See Gallery
Miley Cyrus with mom Tish Cyrus through the years
Miley Cyrus and mom Tish (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
Miley Cyrus with her mother Tish during 'Monster House' Los Angeles Premiere at Mann Village Theater in Westwood, California, United States. (Photo by Mirek Towski/FilmMagic)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) NEW YORK - DECEMBER 23: ***EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE*** Singer/Actress Miley Cyrus, father Billy Ray Cyrus and mother Leticia 'Tish' Cyrus pose as they visit backstage at 'Mamma Mia!' on Broadway at The Winter Garden Theater on December 23, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic
Singer/actress Miley Cyrus and mother Leticia 'Tish' Cyrus arrives to the 2007 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre on November 18, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Singer/actress Miley Cyrus and mother Leticia 'Tish' Cyrus arrives to the 2007 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre on November 18, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Trish Cyrus and Miley Cyrus attend the 16th Annual Entertainment Industry Foundation's Revlon Run/Walk for Women on May 9, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chris Weeks/WireImage)
Leticia Cyrus, singer Miley Cyrus, and Brandi Cyrus arrive at the 2008 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 23, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Leticia Cyrus, singer Miley Cyrus, and Brandi Cyrus arrive at the 2008 American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on November 23, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 10: *Exclusive Coverage* Miley Cyrus and mother Tish Cyrus pose backstage at the hit rock musical 'Rock of Ages' on Broadway at The Brooks Atkinson Theater on November 10, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 09: Tish Cyrus and actress Miley Cyrus arrive at the Teen Choice Awards 2009 held at the Gibson Amphitheatre on August 9, 2009 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
©2009 RAMEY PHOTO May 23, 2009, Studio City, California Miley Cyrus and her mother Tish spend Saturday afternoon eating lunch at The Studio Cafe, and shopping at M. Fredric boutique and Royal Dutchess boutique. PR (Photo by Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Singer and actress Miley Cyrus (L) and her mother Leticia Cyrus leave JFK Airport on August 30, 2010 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JUNE 20: Leticia Cyrus and Miley Cyrus pose backstage at the 21st Annual MuchMusic Video Awards at the MuchMusic HQ on June 20, 2010 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Miley Cyrus and Tish Cyrus attends The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Singer-actress Miley Cyrus and mother Tish Cyrus arrive at The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08: Singer Miley Cyrus (R) and her mother Tish Cyrus (L) arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere 'Justin Bieber: Never Say Never' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on February 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Barry King/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE)(L-R) Billy Ray Cyrus, Tish Cyrus and Miley Cyrus pose backstage at the hit musical 'Chicago' on Broadway at The Ambassador Theater on November 18, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 24: Actress/singer Miley Cyrus (L) and Tish Cyrus attend Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XVIII held at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on March 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for CFN)
PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 24: Tish Cyrus, Muhammad Ali, and singer Miley Cyrus pose backstage during Muhammad Ali's Celebrity Fight Night XVIII held at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on March 24, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for CFN)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 12: Tish Cyrus, actress Mylie Cyrus and Brandi Cyrus arrive to the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on March 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 08: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Miley Cyrus and mother Tish Cyrus attend the Miley Cyrus 'Bangerz' Record Release Signing at Planet Hollywood Times Square on October 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 21: Miley Cyrus and Tish Cyrus attend the iHeartRadio Music Festival Village on September 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 29: Tish Cyrus and Miley Cyrus attend amfAR LA Inspiration Gala honoring Tom Ford at Milk Studios on October 29, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Tachman/Getty Images for amfAR)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 29: Singer Miley Cyrus (L) and mother Tish Cyrus arrive at the 2014 amfAR LA Inspiration Gala at Milk Studios on October 29, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 30: Host Miley Cyrus, styled by Simone Harouche, (L) and producer Tish Cyrus attend the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on August 30, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 27: Miley Cyrus (L) and Tish Cyrus backstage during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/MTV1617/Getty Images for MTV)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 21: Tish Cyrus (L) and singer Miley Cyrus attend the 2017 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena on May 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/BBMA2017/Getty Images for dcp)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 07: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been shot in black and white. Color version not available.) Tish Cyrus (L) and Miley Cyrus attend the American Film Institute's 46th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to George Clooney at Dolby Theatre on June 7, 2018 in Hollywood, California. 390073 (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 28: Tish Cyrus and recording artist Miley Cyrus attend the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images for NARAS)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Former President Bill Clinton (C) poses with singer Miley Cyrus (L) and Tish Cyrus at MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Fleetwood Mac at Radio City Music Hall on January 26, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for NARAS)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 10: (L-R) Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus and Tish Cyrus attend the 61st Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10: Tish Cyrus (L) and Miley Cyrus attend the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

July 2015: Paparazzi photos showed Miley making out with Victoria's Secret model Stella Maxwell. Weeks later, she told Elle, "I’m very open about it; I’m pansexual. But I’m not in a relationship."

November 2015 - 2016: The gradual re-emergence of Miley and Liam as a couple. Sometime in 2016 they get engaged again. However, she continues to speak candidly about her queer identity.

September 2017: The release of Miley's song "She's Not Him" reveals her internal struggle between pursuing a relationship with a woman while she's still in love with a man. An excerpt from the lyrics: "There's no other girl that looks like ya, darling / Those eyes, that tongue, those teeth, that face, that body / Even though we've gone to outer space / Still no way you can take his place."

December 2018: A wedding!

January - July 2019: Miley repeatedly asserts during various interviews that being married does not negate the fact that she's pansexual. Two months before news of their split goes public, Miley says that yes, she's "in a hetero relationship, but I still am very sexually attracted to women.”

August 2019: Upon confirmation of her separation from Liam, Miley is photographed kissing Kaitlynn Carter on vacation in Italy.

2019 -- : Who's to say?

15 PHOTOS
Miley Cyrus and Kaitlynn Carter's trip to Italy
See Gallery
Miley Cyrus and Kaitlynn Carter's trip to Italy
rock the boat, don’t rock the boat baby ⚓️
So much Versacheeeeee @versace 🖤
Girls Trip 🇮🇹
Mute me if you don’t want SPAMMED
Sister Sister 💜
noi siamo Italiani ora 😊🇮🇹
ROCK THE BOAT ❤️ 🇮🇹 ❤️🇮🇹
BOOM
Throne 👑
photo me PRONTO 💦
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.