Demi Lovato Comes Out As Pansexual — Why Making The Distinction Matters

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Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, and pledged her allegiance to the "alphabet mafia."

The two discussed Lovato's childhood as a singer and performer and her future plans to raise children of her own. Lovato told him at the moment she thinks she might adopt, but clarified, "I was engaged to a man last year. I totally thought I'd be married, maybe pregnant by now. And that's not the case."

"I also don't know if I'm gonna end up with a guy, so I can't see myself maybe even getting pregnant," she went on. "I'm so fluid now, and a part of the reason why I am so fluid is because I was super closeted off."

Rogan clarified by asking if she identified as pansexual, and she responded in the affirmative, after previously coming out as bisexual in 2017.

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The terminology LGBTQ people use varies from person to person and is typically objective and based on what the individual is most comfortable with, although some say the terms are indicative of gender distinctions that apply when it comes to attraction, with some believing pansexuality holding more "space for gender presentation and identities to be more fluid."

Fluid, as mentioned above, is exactly what Lovato says she feels right now.

"I heard someone call the LGBTQIA+ community the alphabet mafia," she told the comedian. "That's it! That's what I'm going with. I'm part of the alphabet mafia and proud."

The two joked about the many letters of the LGBTQIA+ alphabet, with Lovato laughing, "Why can't we just say 'queer,' y'all?" (Fortunately, we can!)

She told Rogan that she first remembers realizing she had an attraction towards women while watching Sarah Michelle Gellar and Selma Blair kiss in the 1999 movie Cruel Intentions.

"I was like, 'Oh, I like that,'" she said. "But I felt a lot of shame because growing up in Texas as a Christian, that's very frowned upon."

Lovato added, "Any attraction I had to a female at a young age, I shut it down before I even let myself process what I was feeling."

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In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Lovato explained that her religion had ramifications beyond identity.

"Gender norms and sexuality norms aside, I kind of felt a prisoner to my entire career and childhood growing up in the South as a Christian."

Lovato was previously engaged to Max Ehrich. The two called off the engagement in September, which Lovato took as a sign that she could "live [her] truth."

"I hooked up with a girl and was like, 'I like this a lot more.' It felt better. It felt right," she told the comic.

Lovato told EW she's "just too queer" to get serious with a man at this point.

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"Regardless if drama is happening or not, I am too gay to marry a man right now," she said. "I don't know if that will change in 10 years and I don't know if that'll never change, but I love accepting myself."

"I've always known I was hella queer, but I have fully embraced it," she told the magazine.

After her near-fatal overdose in 2018, Lovato is embracing all the true selves she's never allowed herself in the past. In fact, in a lot of ways, she found herself identity shopping.

“I was trying on different identities that felt authentic to me but weren’t me,” she told Glamour. “The super-feminine pop star was an identity that sounded like it fit and looked like it fit, so I put it on like it fit.”

Cheers to Lovato for finding herself among the loving embrace of the alphabet mafia.

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Courtney Enlow is a writer and editor whose work has appeared at Vanity Fair, Glamour, Pajiba, SYFY FANGRRLS, Bustle, Huffington Post, io9, and others. She is the former co-host of Trends Like These with Travis McElroy and Brent Black. She has two kids, two dogs, and requires more wine, please.