While speaking to LGBTQ reporter Kate Sosin at The 19th Summit virtual conference last week, singer Demi Lovato said that, while they currently identify as non-binary, that could change in the future.
“There might be a time where I identify as trans,” the 29-year-old shared. “I don’t know what this looks like for me. There might be a time where I identify as non-binary and gender-nonconforming my entire life.”
They continued, “Or maybe there’s a period of time when I get older that I identify as a woman, I don’t know what that looks like, but for me, in this moment right now, this is how I identify.”
The comments, though well-intentioned, didn’t land well with people on Twitter. Many wanted to support Lovato, but felt their words about possibly identifying as trans in the future were confusing and did more harm than good.
Here’s what they’re saying…
i’ve been trying to state something similar to this for so long but haven’t been able to do so because i lack the lived experience of being trans but she explains it perfectly.
(she is speaking on gender identity and demi lovato’s statements on it) pic.twitter.com/Sa6ZR9Qx87
— you (@TylartheHooper) August 20, 2021
I’m sorry but surely Demi Lovato saying that they won’t always identify as non binary and may one day identify as trans is offensive to people genuinely trying to get people to take it all seriously? You can’t just pick and choose like you’re shopping for groceries??
— Lozzie? (@LaurenJade97_x) August 21, 2021
Usually I don’t question anyone’s “identity”… but what is up with Demi Lovato? They’re giving Trisha Paytas vibes. How do you say “there might be a day where I identify as trans”? Either you are… or you aren’t. That’s not really an identity you can choose.
— ?? (@_KayRie) August 20, 2021
Demi Lovato taking away the light of real trans ppl irks me. Ftb
— g. (@gabysevens) August 21, 2021
demi lovato saying they might “identify” as trans one day is actually…incredibly ignorant?
— ips (@ipsssen) August 22, 2021
Like she’s choosing an outfit.
— Shaun Proulx (@ShaunProulx) August 20, 2021
I cannot be the only person who can’t stand Demi Lovato. “There might be a time where I identify as trans” GIRL. You are slapping people in the face who have felt uncomfortable in their own bodies since they could remember. You’re so self involved my god.
— Hailey (@hb_bby103) August 20, 2021
reminder that Demi Lovato isn’t good rep for trans/nonbinary people. I’ll die on this hill
— cowboy (@storpikkenergi) August 21, 2021
Demi Lovato is irritating me because it’s people really out here struggling with their identities and being accepted for who they are. It’s not a “I might identify as trans one day” or “I might identify as a woman when I’m older”. Like this not a joke
— And still, I sigh… (@JanMarie__) August 21, 2021
Demi Lovato: "I'm non-binary and one day I might even be TRANS and later on I might be a woman!"
Me: "Congratulations on not knowing what any of those terms mean but loudly using them anyways."
— Valkyrie Thunderbitch (@ValkyrieLadyK) August 20, 2021
Demi Lovato girl.. you can’t just be trans because it’s cool for the summer ????? pic.twitter.com/sdc15sJLzK
— denisemalik. (@unapologetic_dd) August 21, 2021
Demi lovato stating she “might identify as trans in the future”……???!!??! At this point she’s saying absolutely ANYTHING to stay relevant and it’s disgusting how she’s using the LGBT community as a platform to do it.
— Karissa Miller (@KarissaaMillerr) August 21, 2021
According to GLAAD’s Transgender FAQ page:
Everyone has a gender identity, an internal sense of self and perception of one’s own gender. For some people their gender identity is the same as the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender) and for some people their gender identity is different than the sex they were assigned at birth (transgender).
There have always been transgender people who felt that their gender identity didn’t fall neatly into the two binary categories of “man” or “woman.” In the past, trans people who felt that way used the words genderqueer and genderfluid to describe that experience. While those words are still used today, it’s now more common for people to call themselves non-binary if they feel their gender identity is something other than “man” or “woman.” People who use the word non-binary to describe their gender identity typically also call themselves transgender.
…Language is evolving in real time. But it’s important to understand that there is no one right or wrong way to be non-binary, just like there is no right or wrong way to be transgender.
Graham Gremore is the Features Editor and a Staff Writer at Queerty. Follow him on Twitter @grahamgremore.