Singer Demi Lovato announced they are nonbinary and their pronouns are they/them Wednesday during the pilot episode of their new podcast, “4D.”
“I want to take this moment to share something very personal with you,” Lovato said to begin the show. “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 nonbinary.
“With that said, I’ll officially be changing my pronouns to they/them. I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression, and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am, and still am discovering.”
In conversation with gender-nonconforming author and performer Alok Vaid-Menon, the “Dancing With the Devil” artist detailed their coming-out journey and explained why they thought they were “supposed to be a certain way” before discovering their true identity. Lovato added that they are “still learning” and don’t consider themself to be an “expert or spokesperson” for the nonbinary community.
“In 2018 when I overdosed, I feel like the reason why that happened was because I was ignoring my truth, and I was suppressing who I really am in order to please stylists or team members … or even fans that wanted me to be the sexy, feminine pop star in the leotard,” Lovato told Vaid-Menon.
“I thought that was what I was supposed to be, and now I just realize that it’s so much more important to live your truth than to ever suppress yourself because that’s the type of stuff that happens when you do.”
The “Skyscraper” hit-maker also noted that they will allow a grace period for people who “slip and say her/she” when referring to them because they understand that “it’s going to take a while for people to get used to.”
“[It] would mean the world if people could start identifying me as they/them,” they said. “I just want them to be making the effort. I think it’s important because I want to use these pronouns that feel right to me. I also don’t want people to be so afraid of messing up that they don’t try to use them.”
Vaid-Menon, who frequently upends traditional gender norms in their work and speaks openly about their identity on social media, debunked some of the prejudices society harbors toward the nonbinary community and encouraged gender nonconforming individuals to practice “nonbinary joy” in the face of adversity.
“Spoiler alert: All language was made up. And last time I checked, you don’t speak Shakespearean English. You understand that language evolves over time to address topics and better communicate,” Vaid-Menon said.
“This is not about grammar or language. This is about power. And what I mean by that is they say, ‘Be yourself, except if you’re an LGBTQ person.’ They say, ‘Express yourself, except if you’re an LGBTQ person. Invent new language, innovate, except if you’re an LGBTQ person.’ Because we have a society that is so homophobic and transphobic, they’re going to basically try to delegitimize us in every way.”
While introducing their latest endeavor to fans, Lovato elaborated on their self-discovery in an Instagram post. The former Disney Channel star’s announcement comes several months after another prominent star, Elliot Page, came forward as nonbinary and transgender in a powerful social media statement.
Lovato will release new installments of their podcast Wednesdays on Apple Podcasts, Audacy, Spotify and other streaming platforms. Each episode, they and their weekly guests will engage in conversations about “identity, creativity, activism, philanthropy, and beyond,” according to the project description on Apple podcasts.
“Every day we wake up, we are given another opportunity and chance to be who we want and wish to be,” Lovato wrote on Instagram. “I’ve spent the majority of my life growing in front of all of you… you’ve seen the good, the bad, and everything in between.
“Not only has my life been a journey for myself, I was also living for those on the other side of the cameras. Today is a day I’m so happy to share more of my life with you all … I’m doing this for those out there that haven’t been able to share who they truly are with their loved ones. Please keep living in your truths and know I am sending so much love your way.”
— Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times