Demi Lovato reveals they are non-binary and will now use the pronouns 'they/them'
via Wikimedia Commons

Two-time Grammy Award-winning singer and former Disney star Demi Lovato, 28, has come out as non-binary in the first episode of their new podcast "4D." They came out to their guest Alok Vaid-Menon, a gender non-conforming writer and performer.

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

"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," they continued.


Identifying as non-binary and using pronouns outside of those used by cisgender men and women, is a fairly new thing for most people, so Lovato knows it'll take some time for everyone to get it right.

"I think it's important because I want to use these pronouns that feel right to me," they said. "I also just don't want people to be so afraid of messing up that they don't try to use them."

Non-binary people do not identify as a man or woman. That could mean they reject any gender identity, identify as both a man and a woman, or fall somewhere in between.

"Nonbinary can also be used as an umbrella term encompassing identities such as agender, bigender, genderqueer or gender-fluid," the Human Rights Campaign said.

Non-binary people can also be transgender, as in the case of Elliot Page.

The news comes after Lovato came out as being pansexual on a March episode of the "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast.

"I'm so fluid now, and a part of the reason why I am so fluid is because I was super closeted off," they said. "I heard someone call the LGBTQIA+ community the alphabet mafia. I'm part of the alphabet mafia and proud."

People who are pansexual have a sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction to people regardless of their sex or gender identity.

During the podcast, Vaid-Menon explained that there have always been people that existed outside the traditional gender binary and it has nothing to do with being confused.

"We are people who have existed for thousands of years who actually experience ourselves outside of the idea of man or woman," they said. "But what I want you to understand is that it comes from a place of deep joy and healing, not from a place of doubt."

Lovato's brave decision to come out as non-binary has to be freeing. Now, they can be their true self without having to live up to the gender expectations placed on them by society. The announcement will also give many of their fans the confidence to be their true selves as well.

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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One little girl took pictures of her school lunches. The Internet responded — and so did the school.

If you listened to traditional news media (and sometimes social media), you'd begin to think the Internet and technology are bad for kids. Or kids are bad for technology. Here's a fascinating alternative idea.

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Norton

This article originally appeared on 03.31.15

Kids can innovate, create, and imagine in ways that are fresh and inspiring — when we "allow" them to do so, anyway. Despite the tendency for parents to freak out because their kids are spending more and more time with technology in schools, and the tendency for schools themselves to set extremely restrictive limits on the usage of such technology, there's a solid argument for letting them be free to imagine and then make it happen.

It's not a stretch to say the kids in this video are on the cutting edge. Some of the results he talks about in the video at the bottom are quite impressive.

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