Demi Lovato attends the pre-Grammy gala in 2023

Stop Policing Demi Lovato’s Nonbinary Identity

Recently, in an interview with G2 Hype Spain, musician Demi Lovato stated that they’re going to start going by she/her pronouns again after coming out as nonbinary in 2021. Lovato will continue to use they/them pronouns as well, as they identify more with being nonbinary than strictly feminine, but this recent decision came about because, as Lovato explains, it was “exhausting” having to constantly educate people about their identity.

Recommended Videos

There are many reasons why a gender-nonconforming person might use multiple pronouns, and they are all deeply personal and impossible to make blanket statements about. This extends to Lovato’s reasoning behind their decision to start using she/her pronouns as well. Unfortunately, Lovato is also a public figure during a time of rampant media tomfoolery, which means certain news outlets have started running wild with their own projections on this situation.

All the usual suspects—the New York Post, FOX News, and so on—are using Lovato’s interview as a talking point on why pronouns are another “gay agenda” delusion. They’re chopping Lovato’s quote into something they can use to this end, taking it out of context and making it seem like they decided to stop using they/them pronouns altogether. To be clear: a person can very much still be nonbinary and use pronouns other than they/them. It’s not that hard to understand. These outlets are just being deliberately obtuse to their own ridiculous, hurtful ends.

https://twitter.com/ProbNotThatGuy/status/1669061137327857664

I want to take a moment to say that one’s journey with their gender identity does not need to be firmly set in stone in order to be valid. Many people experiment with various pronouns and ways of being as they grow into adulthood and beyond, and there truly is no “right” or “wrong” way of doing this. The only people who make a big deal out of it are the people who don’t have your best interests at heart in the first place.

them.us published a fantastic article going into this more in-depth, with a series of interviews from GNC folks who use multiple pronouns for multiple reasons. Some are very in touch with both their femininity and masculinity and want to be referred to with this in mind. Others feel as though they don’t fit into either box, yet are still somewhat attached to their upbringing within the gender binary. And some feel like “everything,” all at once. Either which way, the takeaway should be: how a person defines themself is none of your business, and the only part that involves you is the expectation that you treat others with common decency and respect, as you would also want to be treated.

them expands on this further:

Those of us who go by more than a single set of pronouns — whether she/theythey/he, or she/xe, for instance — often face a number of questions when introducing ourselves: But which should I use? Seriously, though, do you have a preference? Am I supposed to use them all at once? For starters, lots of folks who use multiple sets of pronouns are fine with them being used interchangeably, though not all. Gently asking if someone uses one set in particular contexts versus another is usually better than assuming. Some folks may even feel affirmed through using multiple sets simultaneously — i.e. “he/they went to the store.” Though since this latter example is a less common preference, it’s probably safest to ask in advance if this approach feels good. Whatever answer you get, don’t press folks if it’s not totally clear to you — the reasons one uses one set versus another in certain situations can be personal, and sometimes we just don’t feel like getting into all that. 

It’s unfortunate that Demi Lovato’s journey has been so exhaustively publicized. Hopefully, we can at least make sure that some people don’t take the wrong messaging away from this story.

(featured image: Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic)


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Scarlett Johansson Calls BS on OpenAI, Reveals She Rejected ChatGPT Offer
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff
Read Article Paramount Sued for Barring Server From ‘Mean Girls’ Party Because of His Weight
Jaquel Spivey plays Damian, Angourie Rice plays Cady and Auli'i Cravalho plays Janis in Mean Girls
Read Article What Happened to Wally the Emotional Support Alligator? Explained.
An alligator swimming.
Read Article Female Benedictine College Graduate Speaks Out After Harrison Butker’s Horrific Speech
Harrison Butker at the Super Bowl LVII on Opening Night and Susi Leisegang in a TikTok video
Read Article Charlyne Yi Says They Were ‘Coerced To Quit’ Taika Waititi Series Following Alleged Assault
Actress Charlyne Yi attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Related Content
Read Article Scarlett Johansson Calls BS on OpenAI, Reveals She Rejected ChatGPT Offer
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff
Read Article Paramount Sued for Barring Server From ‘Mean Girls’ Party Because of His Weight
Jaquel Spivey plays Damian, Angourie Rice plays Cady and Auli'i Cravalho plays Janis in Mean Girls
Read Article What Happened to Wally the Emotional Support Alligator? Explained.
An alligator swimming.
Read Article Female Benedictine College Graduate Speaks Out After Harrison Butker’s Horrific Speech
Harrison Butker at the Super Bowl LVII on Opening Night and Susi Leisegang in a TikTok video
Read Article Charlyne Yi Says They Were ‘Coerced To Quit’ Taika Waititi Series Following Alleged Assault
Actress Charlyne Yi attends the premiere of "Twin Peaks" at Ace Hotel on May 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Author
Madeline Carpou
Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).

Comments are closed.