Nonbinary star Demi Lovato readopts she/her pronouns, as is their right

The singer and ex-Disney star explains why they've broadened their pronoun repertoire, while retaining they/them

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published June 14, 2023 3:35PM (EDT)

Demi Lovato attends the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 03, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
Demi Lovato attends the 2023 Milken Institute Global Conference at The Beverly Hilton on May 03, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Demi Lovato is opening up about their gender identity and their choice to readopt she/her pronouns in addition to they/them pronouns.

In a recent interview with GQ Spain, the 30-year-old singer, actor and former Disney star explained their May 2022 decision to add "she/her" back into their social media profile alongside "they/them." The change came after announcing their nonbinary identity back in 2021.

"I constantly had to educate people and explain why I identified with those pronouns. It was absolutely exhausting," said Lovato in the interview, translated from Spanish to English. "I just got tired. But for that very reason I know that it is important to continue spreading the word."

Lovato continued, saying the lack of available and accessible gender-neutral spaces is incredibly challenging: "I face this every day. For example, in public toilets. Having to access the women's bathroom, even though I don't completely identify with it.

"Or it also happens when filling out forms, such as government documents or any other where you have to specify your gender," Lovato added. "You only have two options, male and female, and I feel like none of that makes sense to me.

"I see myself conditioned to choose a woman because there are no more," they said. "I think this has to change. Hopefully with time there will be more options."

Lovato officially came out as nonbinary in a May 2021 episode of the "4D with Demi Lovato" podcast, saying their pronouns are now they/them.

"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," Lovato said. "With that said, I'll be officially changing my pronouns to they/them."

They continued, "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 am still discovering."

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In May 2022, Lovato added she/her pronouns to their Instagram bio, later explaining their decision in a conversation with Tamara Dhia on the "Spout" podcast.

"For me, I'm such a fluid person that . . . I felt like, especially last year, my energy was balanced in my masculine and feminine energy so that when I was faced with the choice of walking into a bathroom and it said 'women' and 'men,' I didn't feel like there was a bathroom for me because I didn't feel necessarily like a woman," Lovato said. "I didn't feel like a man. I just felt like a human."

They added, "That's what they/them is about for me. It's just about, like, feeling human at your core. Recently, I've been feeling more feminine, and so I've adopted she/her again. But I think what's important is, like, nobody's perfect. Everyone messes up pronouns at some point, and especially when people are learning. It's just all about respect."

Although Lovato prefers they/them pronouns to best represent their more neutral gender identity, adding she/her back to the ways they can be addressed isn't unusual. Many people who come out as nonbinary, transgender or gender fluid may adopt more than one set of pronouns to match their identity, for comfort or any number of other reasons. For example, actor Elliot Page embraces he/they pronouns. Cisgender folks have also added they/them to acknowledge the pronouns' neutral nature.

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Brief Demi Lovato Gender Gender Identity Nonbinary Pronouns