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The relationship between actresses Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor is a rare and steady one in an industry dominated by collapsing romances and entanglements. Now, for our October 2020 cover story, Paulson is opening up about dealing with such private matters of the heart in the public eye—including “ageist” criticisms of the couple’s 32-year age gap.

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“To feel that I belong to anyone other than a person I would like to belong to, like Holland or my dog or my best friend or my sister … a bunch of strangers claiming me as their own feels a little confusing,” she tells writer Roxane Gay, who authored The New York Times best-selling collection of essays Bad Feminist. “Since I’m not an expert at figuring out how to move around it, I end up giving more than I want to sometimes.”

When Gay asks why people are so preoccupied with their difference in age (Paulson is 45, while Holland is 77), the Ratched actress answers that it has something to do with an unwillingness to confront mortality, but also reflects “our own ageist thinking and the idea that to be old is to cease to have any desire.” Though the general reception to their relationship has been positive, Paulson also warns, “Anybody says anything about any person I love in a way that is disrespectful or cruel and I want to cut a bitch.”

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Paulson has previously commented on the subject in a 2016 interview with The New York Times“My choices in romantic partners have not been conventional, and therefore the idea that it’s ‘other’ makes it compelling,” she said.

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“If my life choices had to be predicated based on what was expected of me from a community on either side, that’s going to make me feel really straitjacketed, and I don’t want to feel that.”

She continued, “What I can say absolutely is that I am in love, and that person happens to be Holland Taylor.”

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.