As a result of Demi Lovato’s pronouns will help normalize gender fluidity

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

“They are,” Lovato says profile read from April.

This week, the public got wind of this change after the singer talked about it during an interview on “Spout Podcast,” a series of interviews with music artists.

“I’m such a fluid person,” Lovato, a came out as non-binary in 2021, host said Tamara Dhia when they were asked about their pronouns. “Lately, I’ve been feeling more feminine, so I adopted again.”

On social media, people have reacted to the news with respect and confusion. Some, including God, have criticism media coverage lacks context for the nuance and complexities of gender identity.

Although some language outlets suggested that Lovato “gone back” for their pronouns, experts say it’s common for transgender and non-binary people to use multiple pronouns, and interchange pronouns throughout their gender journey.

“A lot of times, people might cycle through different gender identities, or use different language or different pronouns, and that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not their true selves,” said Sabra Katz-Wise, an assistant professor at young people /medicine for young adults at Boston Children’s Hospital. “It’s just part of this larger 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 expressed hope that Lovato’s story would help normalize this experience: “This is a reminder that gender and sexuality can be completely fluid and that’s not okay!” one user write on Twitter.

And many criticized the media’s portrayal of the news. “The media’s reaction to Demi Lovato using her/them pronouns is why I wish I was stuck with them,” another user write. “The second I switched to it everyone stopped using it.”

Aaron Williams, 21, has used the pronouns they/them for more than a year. But it feels like their gender journey has just begun, they said.

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

Cierra “ChiChi” White, mental health counselor and Twitch streamer in Colorado Springs, said their journey began in childhood after struggling to connect with feminine labels – especially as a Black girl in a non-Black community. “My idea of ​​femininity was completely different from what I had,” they said.

“My whole life, I’ve been very comfortable with pronouns for the most part,” White said. “And then I decided to go through the pronouns exclusively and identify them as an actor.”

To White, 26, it means 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 better build your own thinking over time, it’s only natural that it changes,” a White said. “I don’t know too many people who haven’t tried pronouns.”

According to released data from the Pew Research Center in June, about 1.6 percent of the US population identifies as trans or non-binary. The survey also found that young adults were the most likely to identify in this way.

5 percent of young adults identify as trans or non-binary, survey says

Katz-Wise, whose research examines sexual orientation, gender identity development and sexual fluidity, echoes White’s perspective on how community and environmental factors can influence identity. “There seem to be a lot of contextual factors involved in people having these changes,” she said. “A lot of it is about meeting new people [and] learning about new terms not previously exposed to them.”

Amidst the onslaught of legislation targeting trans and queer people, there were many in the LGBTQ community in particular. wary of stories that may encourage stigma and misunderstandings about gender and queer experiences.

“I think there’s a real fear that transgender and non-binary rights will be taken away if there’s a suggestion that gender can be fluid because people might say, ‘Well, if it’s fluid and you can change it, why not are you just gender? ‘” Katz-Wise said. “But in reality, people wouldn’t usually describe it as they made that change themselves but rather they found that change happening to them.”

Since coming out as non-binary in May 2021, Lovato has been open about anticipating such changes, telling the 19th at the time her gender identity would be a “forever” journey. She is too said she identifies as queer and pansexual.

“There may be a time when I identify as non-binary and gender non-conforming my whole life. Or maybe there is a period of time when I get older that I identify as a woman,” she added said. “I don’t know what that looks like, but for me, in this moment right now, this is how I identify.”

In recent years, other celebrities have come out as non-binary or transgender. In 2019, the singer Sam Smith change their pronouns for them. In 2020, the actor Elliot Page came out as transgender and non-binary. And this year, singer Janelle Monae confirmed that she is non-binary, telling the Los Angeles Times she will use both of them and the pronouns.

White is grateful for their 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’s so important for our communities not only to have allies but to see representation,” they said. “If it wasn’t for social media and the change in conversation in popular culture, I might not have known these labels existed.”

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