Singer Demi Lovato has come out as non-binary. She made the announcement in the early hours of Wednesday morning on her podcast "4D with Demi Lovato," and this coming out was not just about gender, but is in spiritual terms as well.
Wearing a short haircut, lots of jewelry, and plenty of makeup, Lovato told viewers "I want to take this moment to share something very personal with you. Over the past year and a half I've been doing some healing and self-reflective work. And through this work I've had the revelation that I identify as non-binary."
"With that said, I'll be officially changing my pronouns to they/them. I feel that this best represents the fluidity I feel in my gender expression, and allows me to feel most authentic and true to the person I both know I am and still am discovering," Lovato said.
This comes after Lovato revealed a history of sexual abuse in a YouTube Originals docuseries that premiered at SXSW in March. In Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, she reveals that on the night of her overdose, she was sexually assaulted by her drug dealer.
That 2018 overdose resulted in a heart attack and three strokes in 2018. In February, the former Disney actor shared in an Instagram post the reasons "why gender reveals are transphobic," reposting what LGBTQ activist Alok Vaid-Menon wrote.
In writing about gender-reveals on their blog, Vaid-Menon said that "Gender reveals are based on the illusion that genitals = gender and that there are only two options 'boy or girl.' This definition erases the fact that there are boys with vaginas and girls with penises and that there are people who are neither boys nor girls. The idea that gender is based on genitalia is inconsistent with science."
"Transphobia is not just prejudice or violence against an individual trans person, it is a belief system that presumes non-trans people to be more 'natural' than trans people. Only individual people can self determine their gender," she posted.
Lovato appears to have taken those words to heart, and will be exploring her new, non-binary identity on 4D. "In this first episode, I'm excited to share with you what this means to me and what it may look like for other people.
"I want to make it clear that I'm still learning and coming into myself. And I don't claim to be an expert or a spokesperson. I know this might be a new conversation for many, so I'm inviting my friend Alok, someone I trust to spend time on this platform," Lovato announced.
Lovato and Vaid-Menon will "discuss identity at large" on 4D, produced by OBB Sound. But they will "also take the time to personally reflect on how I came into my truth so that we, like many others, are able to live our lives authentically," Lovato said.
The duo are not the only non-binary advocates to compare their exploration of gender in spiritual terms. The concept of gender non-binary has been framed as a divine iteration of human expression.
"Nonduality is about the dissolution of this belief in 'otherness', and the principle of gender fluidity could open the potential for that sacred release," writes a blogger on Science & Nonduality.
American Progress claims that "Transgender people and those in the process of transitioning are simply practicing a virtue religious leaders have extolled for centuries: They are being faithful to who they are. For faith communities to turn away their transgender brothers and sisters amounts to a denial of this spirit."
Another blogger notes that the trans movement, of which non-binary identity is undoubtedly a part, is part of the transition of human beings to a "higher level" of existence: "...we have reached a place in our evolution where our souls are yearning for something higher than what we have in this world... in order to get the genuine satisfaction they seek, it is necessary for humanity to rise up to a higher level."
This concept has been noted before, that transgender ideology is merely a stop on the transhumanist pathway. Transhumanism the the process of intentional evolution, with the help of technology, to bring human beings to the next stage of development. Dispensing with gender is part of that process, and it has been embraced by gender activists who link spirituality and gender.
The Guardian reports that Lovato has "...given extensive support to LGBTQ causes. In 2016, Lovato cancelled a concert in North Carolina after the state passed a law that limited bathroom access to transgender people, and has also campaigned on equal marriage. Glaad, an American LGBTQ rights organisation, said at the time that Lovato has 'consistently used her platform as a successful artist to send messages of acceptance and support to LGBT people everywhere."'
Now, Lovato is using her platform to explore gender spirituality and what she seems to believe is the essential, intrinsic nature of gender, in a process of public self-discovery, bolstered by LGBTQ activists.