Demi Lovato has been known as many things in life — a Disney star, the ex bae of Wilmer Valderrama, a Grammy nominee, and an always-evolving pop singer that many people look up for. One thing you might not have been so aware of? A struggle with gender identity.
This week, Lovato broke the internet when headlines came out that she, well, came out! Demi Lovato identifies as non-binary, and they revealed it to the world on the first episode of their new podcast called 4D. Expanding further, Demi said, “Over the past year and a half, I’ve been doing some healing and self-reflective work. And through this work, I’ve had the revelation that I identify as non-binary. With that said, I’ll be officially changing my pronouns to they/them.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign, “Non-binary can also be used as an umbrella term encompassing identities such as agender, bigender, genderqueer or gender-fluid.”
This seemed to be completely out of left field for many people to discover, but it makes sense when you look at the bigger Demi revealed that past struggles with addictions and other problems were a byproduct of not coming to term with this non-binary identity. Lovato says this transformation and the reveal represent the “fluidity I feel in my gender expression and allows me to feel most authentic and rue to the person I both know I am and am still discovering.”
Being a celebrity is no easy path — here’s to Demi learning more about themselves and what makes them happy. The episode on 4D was a shining role model moment for Lovato, who spent the rest of the episode having a conversation with non gender conforming speaker and performer Alok Vaid-Menon. Topics covered include intimate details on Lovato’s personal history, as well as misconceptions that the public has on the idea of gender fluidity.
Demi also revealed that they would be “accepting if people slip up and say her/she because I know that being in my position, it’s going to take a while for people to get used to.”
In regards to that infamous 2018 overdose, the performer revealed that it happened because they were “suppressing who I really am in order to please stylist or team members” and that the pressure to be a “sexy, feminine popstar” in a leotard was too much for Demi, who didn’t feel that lined up with her true identity at all.
The singer calls themselves proud to change their pronouns, and calls it an opportunity and chance to be who they want and wish to be. In the video where they discuss this, Demi’s hair is shorter than usual, with an androgynous top. They explained that as a famous person, the majority of their life has been spent growing up in front of an audience, who has been witness to “the good, the bad, and everything in between.”
All this new information really puts Lovato’s YouTube documentary into context, which follow their journey before and after the overdose. Shortly after that documentary, Demi did an interview with EW where they spoke about the jilted engagement to Max Ehrich.
According to Lovato, that relationship helped them under they that they were “just too queer” to commit to a man, boldly stating: “Regardless if drama is happening or not, I am too gay to marry a man right now. I don’t know if that will change in 10 years and I don’t know if that’ll never change, but I love accepting myself.”
Perhaps Demi’s issues with body image were not arising from low self-esteem, but in fact from a lack of synchronicity between their brain and body. The announcement was made on May 19 in a series of videos and tweets posted online. Lovato discussed the vulnerability required in a delicate situation like this, and hopefully gives courage to other young people who identify similarly to them.
Prior to coming out, Demi Lovato was always a fierce advocate and ally to LGBTQ people and issues. Coming out as non-binary only makes her more of a hero in that space, especially for young people who might have trouble realizing their truth, or seeing it with pride. Here’s to Demi’s new beginning — we’re sure that whatever music she comes out with next will be her best yet.