Demi Lovato has said the “patriarchy” held them back from coming out as non-binary.
Earlier this month, the singer shared the news that they were non-binary on their social media and had officially changed their pronouns to they/them.
Now, the former Disney star spoke to actress and activist Jane Fonda about their journey to becoming non-binary.
During Fonda’s podcast, Lovato spoke about their upbringing “growing up in Dallas, Texas, in the South, being Christian, there was a lot of norms that were already pushed onto me when it came to sexuality and gender.
“If I looked back at my life, there have been times where I felt more masculine, and then there has been times where I felt more feminine.”
Lovato also spoke candidly to Fonda about how the patriarchy had affected them.
“If I had listened to the patriarchy, my life would’ve never changed, my gender, my pronouns would have never changed,” they said. “I would have probably been married to a man, with kids, doing the thing that I was raised to believe that I should do.”
They continued to speak about candidly about their past struggles.
“I’ve been attracted to everyone for as long as I can remember. So there’s been moments in my life that have been very confusing, being 10 years old and being attracted to women and not knowing what that meant as a Christian being raised in the south”.
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The singer also shared their experiences of working in the entertainment industry, explaining that they had spent years trying to make themselves “smaller for the patriarchy”, which they said runs the industry and had been holding them back.
“It was putting me in a box, telling me that, ‘You are a female, this is what you’re supposed to like, this is what you’re supposed to do, don’t dream bigger and don’t speak louder.’ That didn’t vibe for me because I’m too outspoken for that.”
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Addressing how their near-death experience in 2018 after a drug overdose affected them, they said, “I had to wake up and start living my life for me, no matter what choices men thought I should make for myself I just started listening to me which I found out was equal parts masculine and feminine.”
Lovato continued to describe stripping themself “of the norms that society has pushed” and that they have “never been happier”.
The 28-year-old star – who rose to fame on Disney series Barney and Friends, Sonny with a Chance, and the Camp Rock films, told their 106 million followers on Instagram earlier this month, “Today is a day I’m so happy to share more of my life with you all – I am proud to let you know that I identify as non-binary and will officially be changing my pronouns to they/them moving forward.”
Originally published as Demi Lovato explains non-binary identity