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Yes, Demi Lovato Is Allowed To Change Her Pronouns

In May 2021, Demi Lovato came to Twitter to announce that after a journey of self-reflection and healing, they identify as non-binary. In the video, Lovato said:

“I’ll officially be changing my pronouns to they/them. I feel this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression, and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I know I am and still am discovering.” 

Identifying as non-binary is a part of Lovato’s journey of gender fluidity, but one facet of this journey that is not often talked about is what happens when you start to identify more with one gender after coming out as non-binary. On August 1, Lovato revealed that this is something they have been experiencing recently, which is why they have decided to adopt she/her pronouns in addition to they/them. She said they/them allows her to feel like just a human at their core with no labels, and she/her allows her to get in touch with her feminine side that she has been feeling more recently.

Fluidity is a scale and isn’t always a one-way journey. Demi Lovato is not alone on the path of self-discovery and changing pronouns. In fact, 5% of young adults identify as gender fluid.  Being gender fluid means experiencing change in one’s gender expression, identity, or both.  Despite being forthcoming of their experience and journey, Lovato is facing backlash for their personal decision. 

Some Twitter users are accusing her of changing her pronouns to become more famous or of “detransitioning,” which might invalidate others’ journeys. However, that isn’t the case. Gender fluidity is all about acknowledging that you don’t have a set place on the gender spectrum, and in Lovato’s case, they are embracing this by using both she/her and they/them pronouns to account for the varying degrees of gender fluidity they experience in their journey to find themselves.

Showing how someone can identify with more than one set of pronouns reminds people that gender fluidity has always been around and isn’t a clean-cut experience. Going by more than one set of pronouns is a common experience for those who are gender fluid. Many users have recognized this and backed up Lovato’s decision. One Twitter user said, “Many nonbinary people use multiple pronouns. Lovato said they’re using she/her in addition to they/them. It’s very common and not a big deal. Please do not insert some kind of ‘reversal’ or detransitioning narrative where there is none.” Lovato isn’t invalidating the narrative around being non-binary, but is rather expanding it.

Experimenting with gender fluidity is often a learning curve for someone’s personal path and for those who know them. Lovato acknowledged this. In the interview where she shared this update, she said, “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.”

When Lovato first came out as non-binary, many of their fans misgendered them, but Lovato was understanding. They understood that gender fluidity takes time and they admitted in a tweet that, at first, they sometimes misgendered themselves too. Lovato continued, “As long as you keep trying to respect my truth, and as long as I remember my truth, the shift will come naturally.”

There is a lot of pressure on gender fluid people. They are faced with stigmatization and marginalization in society. And because of society putting labels on what gender is and isn’t, many non-binary individuals experience instances of gender dysphoria, which is a sense of unease among those who feel a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity. Though Lovato might have a journey that differs from someone else’s, it doesn’t make her journey any less valid. This is just a step to finding themselves and living an authentic life. 

Hannah Tolley is a contributing writer under the Entertainment and Culture vertical. She covers entertainment releases, fan theories, pop culture news, and more. Aside from Her Campus, Hannah was also a member of the Florida State University (FSU) Her Campus team. During her time with the chapter, she served as a staff writer for three semesters, where she wrote biweekly pieces across campus, culture, and personal verticals. She also was a content editor for two semesters, where she led a team of 6+ writers and oversaw and edited their articles. Hannah was also an editorial intern for Her Campus during her spring and summer term of her second year in college. As an intern, she worked alongside the full-time edit team to curate timely and evergreen pieces across life, culture, career, and style verticals. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from FSU in May 2023, with a Bachelor of Science in Media/Communication Studies with a minor in English. When she's not dissecting the latest pop culture events, you can find her reading a cheesy romance novel or establishing parasocial relationships with fictional TV characters. She loves to rewatch her favorite shows (Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, and Friends) or spend the day going down a rabbit hole of reality dating shows.