How can Demi Lovato’s she/they pronouns help normalize gender fluidity?


Earlier this year, Demi Lovato updated her pronouns on Instagram — a move that went largely under the radar for a global pop star.

“They/Them/He/Her,” by Lovato profile Have read since April.

This week, the public caught wind of the change when the singer opened up about it during an interview.spout podcast“An interview series with musical artists.

“I’m such a fluid person,” Lovato, who came out As non-binary in 2021, told the host Tamara Dhia when asked about her pronouns. “Lately, I’m feeling more feminine, and that’s why I’ve embraced her again.”

On social media, people have reacted to the news with both praise and confusion. Some, including Dhiya criticized Media coverage for the lack of context on the nuances and complexities of gender identity.

While the language of some outlets suggested that Lovato was “returned” As for his/her pronouns, experts say, it is common for trans and non-binary people to use multiple pronouns and to exchange pronouns throughout their gender journey.

Sabra Katz-Wise, assistant professor in adolescence, said, “Often, people can cycle through different gender identities, or different language, or different pronouns, and that doesn’t mean they are their true selves.” are not.” / Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. “It’s part of this bigger gender journey that people are on.”

A guide to the words we use in our gender coverage

Indeed, many on social media reinforced that idea and hoped that Lovato’s story would help normalize the experience: “It’s a reminder that gender and sexuality can be completely fluid and that’s okay!” a user wrote on Twitter.

And many criticized the media’s portrayal of the news. Another user said, “The media response is to Demi Lovato using the pronoun her/they, so I wish I stuck with her.” wrote, “The second I went to him / They stopped using all that.”

Aaron Williams, 21, has used pronouns for more than a year. but Looks like their gender journey is just beginning, he said.

“I’ve only become much more understanding and aware of gender as a social construct in the last few years,” said Williams, who lives in Port Talbot, Wales. “Being autistic, most of us don’t feel like we can relate to societal norms and I realized that I don’t belong to gender binary norms. It’s a work in progress.”

Sierra “Chichi” White, a mental health counselor and Twitch A ray of light In Colorado Springs, Said said her journey began during childhood when she struggled to connect with feminine labels—particularly as a black girl in a non-black community. “My idea of ​​femininity was completely different from the people around me,” he said.

“For the rest of my life, I was very comfortable with any pronoun for the most part,” White said. “And then I decided to just go by them / identify by them exclusively as pronouns and genders.”

For 26-year-old White, it makes sense that a person’s gender identity and/or pronouns would change over time.

“If you’re constantly challenging your ideas or meeting new people who can help you change or change what gender means over time, it’s only natural that it will change,” White said. “I don’t know too many people who haven’t experimented with pronouns.”

According to the released data from Pew Research Center In June, about 1.6 percent of the US population identifies as trans or nonbinary. The survey also found that young adults were most likely to identify as such.

5 percent of young adults identify as trans or nonbinary, survey says

Katz-Wise, whose research examines sexual orientation, gender identity development, and sexual fluidity, outlines White’s approach to how community and environmental factors can influence identity. “There are a number of relevant factors that seem to be related to the people experiencing these changes,” she said. “A lot of them are about meeting new people. [and] Learning about new words they weren’t associated with before.”

Amid the onslaught of legislation targeting trans and queer people, many in the LGBTQ community have been particularly Beware of narratives that may fuel stigma and misconceptions about gay and sexual experiences.

“I think there’s a real fear of transgender and non-binary rights being taken away if there’s any suggestion that gender may be fluid because people can say, ‘Well, if it’s fluid and you can change it, So why aren’t you just cisgender?'” Katz-War said. “But in reality, people will usually describe it not because they have created that change themselves, but because they have experienced that change happening to them.”

Since coming out as non-binary in May 2021, Lovato has been open about fears of such changes, telling 19th At that point her gender identity would be a “forever” journey. he also has Told She identifies as queer and pansexual.

“There may be times when I’ve identified my whole life as non-binary and gender non-conforming. Or maybe there comes a time when I grow up and identify myself as a woman. I’ll make it.” Told, “I don’t know what it looks like, but for me, in this very moment, I identify as such.”

In recent years, other celebrities have come out as non-binary or transgender. In 2019, singer Sam Smith Changed Their pronouns them/them. In 2020, actor Elliot Page came out as transgender and nonbinary. And this year, singer Janelle Monáe confirmed she’s non-binary, telling Los Angeles Times She will use both they/them and she/his pronouns.

White is grateful for her stories: “It means a lot to me personally as a transgender and non-binary person because it helps normalize conversations about gender and fluidity.”

“It is very important for our communities to not only be allies but to see representation,” he said. “If it weren’t for the change in conversation in social media and popular culture, I wouldn’t have known these labels existed.”

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