Sophia Bush gushes over finding ‘unexpected’ love with girlfriend Ashlyn Harris

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 25: (L-R) Ashlyn Harris and Sophia Bush attend the American Ballet Theatre New York Premiere of "Woolf Works" at The Metropolitan Opera on June 25, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre)

Sophia Bush has gushed about her romance with girlfriend Ashlyn Harris, claiming she found the “very best love” in the “most unexpected place”. 

Former US women’s football player Ashlyn Harris took to Instagram on Monday (8 July) to celebrate One Tree Hill star Sophia Bush on her 42nd birthday, saying she is “such a gift to this world”. 

“Happy birthday beautiful. I hope today feels special and full knowing how much we love you,” she wrote. “To see you shine and happy fills us all up.”

In the comments of the post, Bush wrote that her girlfriend is the “best present” on her birthday. 

“Last year I got free,” Bush wrote. “This year I found the very best love in the very most unexpected place. I may never get over the gift of it.” 

Ashlyn Harris and Sophia Bush attend the American Ballet Theatre New York Premiere of "Woolf Works" at The Metropolitan Opera on June 25, 2024 in New York City
Sophia Bush opens up about ‘the very best love’ she found with girlfriend Ashlyn Harris (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for American Ballet Theatre)

She added: “Thank you for putting me back together. For making my second birthday even better than my first. And for reminding me what the sound of my unbridled laughter sounds like. You are magic. You are my best present.”

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Sophia Bush publicly came out as queer in an essay in April, explaining that she is in a relationship with Ashlyn Harris. The two were later seen for the first time as a couple at the White House Correspondents’ dinner. 

“I sort of hate the notion of having to come out in 2024,” Bush wrote in an essay for Glamour

“I think I’ve always known that my sexuality exists on a spectrum. Right now I think the word that best defines it is queer. I can’t say it without smiling, actually. And that feels pretty great.”

The John Tucker Must Die actor explained that after she had separated with her ex-husband, Grant Hughes, she surrounded herself with a support system of women but “didn’t expect to find love” with Harris.

“I don’t know how else to say it other than: I didn’t see it until I saw it,” she said.

She added that she wanted to stand proud in her queer identity “in a year when we’re seeing the most aggressive attacks on the LGBTQ+ community in modern history,” and that the queer community was “my home”, where she had experienced “so much safety, respect, and love”.

Bush also wrote about navigating homophobic backlash after rumours emerged of her and Harris’ relationship. She recalled how one of her mother’s friends called her and said, “Well, this can’t be true. I mean, your daughter isn’t gay.”

The actor praised her mother’s support of her relationship. “My mom felt that it was obvious, from the way her friend emphasized the word, that she meant it judgmentally… and you know what my mom said? ‘Oh honey, I think she’s pretty gay. And she’s happy.'”

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