Sure, some people may find Lindsay Lohan‘s romance with a woman intriguing. But the nightlife-loving actress and her girlfriend, A-list deejay Samantha Ronson, aren’t about to let curiosity about their relationship spoil a perfectly lovely time. Take July 19, when the couple held hands, gazed at each other and chatted intimately for hours at a party at the Grey Goose Manor in East Hampton, N.Y. Says a pal: “I haven’t seen Lindsay this truly happy in years.”

It is a remarkable turnaround for Lohan, 22, who just one year ago went through rehab. Now friends say she is sober, focused—and happily in love with Ronson, 30, whom many in her inner circle, including her family, credit with being a positive influence. Lohan and Ronson—who moved in together in May—have not spoken publicly about their relationship. But they are increasingly open about their affection for one another at parties on both coasts and on the set of Lohan’s upcoming comedy Labor Pains. “They say, ‘I love you’ all the time—they’ll scream it across a public room,” says a source close to Lohan. “For Lindsay, it’s not about being gay—it’s about being in love with Samantha. They couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of them as long as they have each other.”

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