By Danielle Jackson
Updated October 11, 2016 at 05:49 PM EDT
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Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Miley Cyrus is opening up about her sexuality and work as an advocate for the LGBTQ community.

“My whole life, I didn’t understand my own gender and my own sexuality,” Cyrus told Variety for its Power of Women issue. “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. Also, my nipple pasties and sh– never felt sexualized to me. My eyes started opening in the fifth or sixth grade. My first relationship in my life was with a chick.”

During a July interview with Paper Magazine, Cyrus declared herself pansexual, explaining she was “open to every single thing that is consenting and doesn’t involve an animal and everyone is of age.”

Speaking to Variety, Cyrus said her decision came from time spent visiting LGBTQ centers and meeting individuals who had similar experiences with their sexualities.

Cyrus, who is engaged to actor Liam Hemsworth, added, “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. 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.’”

Read the full interview at Variety.

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