This morning Demi Lovato took to YouTube, announcing that they would be officially changing their pronouns to they/them. “I feel like this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression,” says the singer, sharing for the first time that they now identify as non-binary. “It allows me to feel the most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and still am discovering”.
The announcement marks the first episode of 4D, Lovato’s new YouTube series which will see the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer host “conversations which transcend the typical discourse”. In today’s video, they are joined by author and performer Alok Vaid-Menon, with whom Lovato discusses non-binary identity at large, “taking the time to personally reflect on how (they) came into (their) truth”.
“I want to make it clear that I’m still learning and coming into myself and that I don’t claim to be an expert or a spokesperson,” they say, understanding that it may take some time for fans to adjust to using their new pronouns. “It would mean the world if people could start identifying me as they/them but I will be accepting if people slip and say she/her because I know that, being in my position, it will take a while for people to get used to.”
Further into the video, the singer speaks of the emancipatory moment of cutting their hair short. “Everyone sees me as the Disney popstar and me cutting my hair off was the result of years of gender conforming,” they say. “Years of stereotypes that I was trying to fit into in order to gain validation from audiences. I was doing whatever I could to seek joy in other areas of my life but couldn’t feel it until I started being myself.”
It would seem that this has been a long time coming for Lovato – the hard-won result of “a lot of healing and self-reflective work”, which the signer aired during their recent documentary series Dancing With The Devil. And in an age of increasing hostility towards trans and gender non-conforming people, it will surely telegraph a milestone moment of visibility within pop culture.
“I’m doing this for those out there that haven’t been able to share who they truly are with their loved ones,” they say. Watch Demi Lovato’s discussion with Alok Vaid-Menon below.