“It’s about keeping it open and free”
BY CAITLIN CHATTERTON, IMAGE VIA INSTAGRAM
Demi Lovato has shared that their gender identity could evolve in the future, and that “it’s about keeping it open and free”.
Speaking to Kate Sosin for The 19th’s Represents Summit, Lovato explained that they were on a lifelong journey with gender. “I think the first times that I ever questioned my gender was probably in the fifth grade”, they said, adding that “it wasn’t until I went to middle school that I completely changed my image”, presenting more feminine so as to be more “digestible”.
Lovato came out publicly as non-binary in May. “I definitely had a moment were I was like, ‘aha’,” they told Sosin, referencing a performance of Alok Vaid-Menon’s poetry that they attended with fellow musician Sam Smith. It doesn’t mean that Lovato’s journey with their identity is over, though. “There might come a time where I identify as trans,” they mused. “[I might] identify as non-binary and gender-nonconforming my entire life, or maybe there’s a period of time when I get older that I identify as a woman.”
This isn’t to say – as supporters of conversion therapy might advocate – that identity can be swapped and changed on a whim. Rather, Lovato explained that they were able to continue exploring their own identity without the pressures of having to “perform” for anyone. They cited their previous engagement to Max Ehrich, actor in The Young And The Restless, as an example: “When I said goodbye to that relationship, I also said goodbye to everything that was holding me back from being my most authentic self.”
As Demi explains, your relationship with your gender can be a journey, and if that means coming out more than once, that’s absolutely alright.
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