Demi Lovato: The patriarchy 'held me back' from coming out as non-binary

Demi Lovato discussed their journey to coming out as non-binary with Jane Fonda, revealing they felt "held back by the patriarchy" in discovering their authentic self. 

Appearing on Fonda's climate change activism show Fire Drill Fridays, Lovato opened up about feeling confused about their gender and sexuality growing up before eventually finding clarity. 

"If I had listened to the patriarchy, my life would have never changed, my gender, my pronouns would have never changed. I would have probably been married to a man, with kids, doing the thing that I was raised to believe that I should do," they said. 

"Growing up in Dallas, Texas, in the South, being Christian, there were a lot of norms that were already pushed on to me when it came to sexuality and gender, and I'm a very fluid person. 

"When it comes to gender for me, I started realising that if I look back at my life, there've been times when I felt more masculine, and then there've been times that I felt more feminine," they added. 

"I've always been a lover towards everyone. I've been attracted to everyone for as long as I can remember. So there's been moments in my life that have been very confusing to me, you know being 10 years old, attracted to women and not knowing what that meant as a Christian and being raised in the South... you know, it's harder there." 

The 'Sorry Not Sorry' singer said they had spent years "living their life for other people, trying to make themselves smaller for the patriarchy". 

Lovato said the patriarchy was at the heart of the music industry, and they felt "put in a box" by demands to be more feminine. 

"So when I realised that I thought, 'What are the ways that the patriarchy has been holding me back?" they said. 

"Telling me 'you are a female, this is what you are supposed to like, this is what you are supposed to do, don't dream bigger and don't speak louder'." 

Lovato credited their near-fatal drug overdose in 2018 as a catalyst to "wake up and start living my life for me". 

"No matter what choices men thought that I should make for myself, I just started listening to me, which I ended up finding out was equal parts masculine and feminine," they said.

"So when I stripped myself of the norms that society has pushed on me, specifically by the patriarchy, I have become the most complete and authentic version of myself that I've ever been in my life, and I've never been happier."