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Pop Culture

Demi Lovato opens up about using 'she/her' pronouns again in new interview

"I'm such a fluid person when it comes to my gender, my sexuality, my music, my creativity."

Demi Lovato in 2013.

For many, gender expression really is a journey, not a destination. It’s an ever-evolving experience and therefore an ongoing conversation. However, having these kinds of conversations might not always feel easy.

Recently, singer Demi Lovato, who in 2021 came out as nonbinary and incorporated “they/them” pronouns exclusively, announced on an episode of the “Spout” podcast that they’d readopted the use of “she/her” pronouns in addition to “they/them.”

The way in which she explained her decision might help normalize the concept of gender fluidity and make conversations around the subject a bit more accessible. At the very least, it might help those who do want to use pronouns interchangeably feel more comfortable about doing so.

“I'm such a fluid person when it comes to my gender, my sexuality, my music, my creativity," Lovato began. She explained that last year, during the time she changed her pronouns to “they,” her energy felt balanced between “masculine and feminine.”

She added, “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. I didn’t feel like a man [either]."

"I just felt like a human. And that’s what they/them is about. For me, it’s just about feeling human at your core.”

Many nonbinary people opt for gender-neutral pronouns for this reason—because they don’t feel they fit into either gender. Or perhaps they do not wish to conform to societal expectations of either gender. Or they identify differently depending on their environment or different stages of life (also seemingly a factor in Lovato’s case). Really, there are as many reasons behind pronouns choices as there are people in the world to make them.

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Lovato continued by sharing that since she incorporated “she/her” on the basis of feeling more “feminine” again. She even tweaked her social media to reflect the change—on Instagram all four pronouns are now listed under her name.

Lovato added the caveat that she didn’t expect everyone to address her correctly right away.

“Nobody’s perfect. Everyone messes up pronouns at some point, especially when people are learning,” she told “Spout,” acknowledging that these sorts of changes can be initially confusing for some. What really matters, Lovato asserted, is the attempt to show “respect.”

This sentiment is echoed by experts and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community. In an interview with NPR, Deputy Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen said, "I think it's perfectly natural to not know the right words to use at first. We're only human. It takes any of us some time to get to know a new concept. The important thing is to just be interested in continuing to learn. So if you mess up some language, you just say, 'Oh, I'm so sorry,' correct yourself and move forward. No need to make it any more complicated than that. Doing that really simple gesture of apologizing quickly and moving on shows the other person that you care. And that makes a really big difference."

In the same interview, GLAAD communications officer Mary Emily defined this type of respect quite astutely: “It's really just about letting someone know that you accept their identity. And it's as simple as that."

It’s both an individual and collective journey—navigating the evolving terrain of language and ideologies around gender. Hopefully by hearing more of these stories (be it from celebrities or folks in our everyday life) we can better understand these shifting nuances and better connect with each other in the process.

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A fan ambushed Amy Schumer and demanded a photo. That's not OK.

After a scary run-in with a fan who wouldn't take 'no' for an answer, Amy Schumer set some boundaries.

Over the weekend, Amy Schumer made a surprising, bold declaration: no more photos with fans.

Why? Well, here's how she explained it in an Instagram post, showing the overzealous fan's picture he snapped of himself with Schumer (she wound up being just a blur in the background):

"This guy in front of his family just ran up next to me scared the shit out of me. Put a camera in my face. I asked him to stop and he said " no it's America and we paid for you" this was in front of his daughter. I was saying stop and no. Great message to your kid. Yes legally you are allowed to take a picture of me. But I was asking you to stop and saying no. I will not take picture with people anymore and it's because of this dude in Greenville."


Amy Schumer. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Peabody Awards.

"No, it's America, we paid for you?" Um, what?

Later, she walked her position back a bit, explaining that yes, she'll still take photos with fans who are nice and respectful of her space.

It might be controversial to say this, but celebrities do not "owe" their fans anything. They're people, just like any of us.

I don't know what it's like being Amy Schumer. I can't really imagine what it's like having your every move photographed, being constantly bombarded for autographs, or just generally having your personal space taken away from you.

While, yes, as Schumer said in her original post, the man was legally allowed to take her photo, there's a difference between something being legal and something being right or being done respectfully. What happened in that situation was not right or respectful.

What happened in that situation was a violation of Schumer's personal boundaries with a lack of respect and consent.

Schumer and Jimmy Fallon. Photo by Theo Wargo/NBC/Getty Images for "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

Thanks to technology, the entitlement we feel toward access to celebrities has been getting worse lately.

Earlier this year, Demi Lovato dealt with an "Instagram stalker" famous for snapping pictures with celebrities and exaggerating how they encountered one another. In August 2014, someone released the private, personal photos of more than 100 celebrities — Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Kaley Cuoco, and others — online.

Demi Lovato. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

On Twitter and Facebook, people demand attention from their favorite celebs, and it seems like the bar for "public figure" keeps getting increasingly lower.

Even so, whether someone has starred in blockbuster films or whether they're just your average everyday person, we don't have a "right" to anybody's time or anybody's body.

Creating a culture of consent starts by respecting other people's boundaries in all situations, no matter how you're interacting with them or how you know them.

Again, Schumer has since said that she'll "still take pictures with nice people when I choose to if it's a good time for that. But I don't owe you anything. So don't take [a photo] if I say no."

What's that called, folks? Basic human decency. It's pretty easy.

Congratulations are in order for all of Schumer's success, but we must remember that success doesn't equal entitlement to someone's time, energy, or attention.

This past weekend, Demi Lovato had a lot to get off her chest when it comes to sexist double standards.

Few realities illustrate this double standard more than our tendency to doubt — and sometimes actually blame — sexual assault survivors when they come forward (because, you know, a woman's short skirt proves she was "asking for it," right?).

And Demi Lovato has had enough.


Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Lovato took to Twitter to speak out in defense of fellow singer Kesha, who's ensnared in some heartbreaking legal drama.

In 2014, Kesha filed a suit against Dr. Luke, who runs the record label she's signed with, Kemosabe Records. Kesha alleges that Dr. Luke drugged her, raped her, and emotionally abused her throughout their decade-long professional relationship. (Despicable stuff, to say the least.) The case is pending.

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

But on Friday, Kesha left a New York City courtroom in tears after a judge denied a request that would have allowed her to record songs and continue earning a living from her music outside of her contract until the case is finalized. To be clear, Kesha is still able to work with different producers on the label other than Dr. Luke, but she believes her music won't be promoted or prioritized by Sony (who owns Kemosabe Records) if she did so.

To say Kesha's between a rock and a hard place is quite the understatement: In order to keep her career intact, she's being forced to work on her alleged abuser's label, of which she's currently contractually attached to for another six albums.

This is what Lovato had to say about that:










Lovato touches on several great points in her tweets, especially when she mentions that survivors are "shot down" and "disrespected" far too often.

There's a societal knee-jerk reaction to question the honesty of a survivor when they come forward. This mistrust is "one of the biggest barriers sexual assault survivors face" when trying to seek justice, as activist vlogger Laci Green points out in one of her videos.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

Take the reaction to the accusations against Bill Cosby: Even after 35 women say he sexually assaulted them, many fans (including a handful of sympathetic celebrities) have become hellbent on proving he's the victim or have downplayed the survivors' claims. We see survivors being "shot down" time and time again.

Add on that sexual assault survivors face stigma (which may make them hesitant to seek justice) and the restrictive nature of statute of limitation laws (which stop survivors from coming forward if too much time has passed), and it's no wonder only about 2% of rapists spend time behind bars, according to a study by RAINN.

Kesha's situation — which involves a man with a lot of money, power, and influence (as do many cases of rape and sexual assault) — complicates the singer's difficult battle even more so. And keep in mind, she's not even seeking justice for the alleged abuse — she simply doesn't want to work with him any longer.

It's great that Lovato is using her platform as a celebrity to speak out on a story and subject that needs more attention.

And the good news is we can all use our voices and (much smaller) platforms too.

After news spread that Kesha's latest request had been denied, the hashtag #FreeKesha stormed the Internet in support of the pop star. Many celebrities, including Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, and Lorde, expressed solidarity with the singer.


To join the cause, post or tweet using the #FreeKesha hashtag. After all, your words might be seen by someone out there (friend or stranger) who should know you care too.