What is non-binary? Meaning explained as Demi Lovato says on Twitter they're changing pronouns to they/them

Other celebrities who have come out as non-binary in recent years include Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness and Stay with Me singer Sam Smith

Demi Lovato has announced that they are non-binary, and will be using they/them pronouns from now on in a video addressed to their fans.

The Dancing with the Devil singer revealed in a clip from their new podcast series that following a period of “healing and self reflective work” over the past year and a half, they had had a “revelation” about their gender identity.

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What did Demi Lovato say?

Taking to Twitter, Lovato published a thread of Tweets announcing the news.

The singer published a video in which they introduce “4D with Demi Lovato”, their new podcast series.

In the video, they say: “I want to take this moment to share something very personal with you.

The singer shared the news on their Twitter account (Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images for OBB Media)

“Over the past year and a half, I’ve been doing some healing and self reflective work. Through this work, I’ve had the revelation that I identify as non-binary.

“With that said, I’ll officially be changing my pronouns to they/them.”

The singer goes on to explain that they feel this “best represents the fluidity [they] feel in [their] gender expression” and allows them to feel “most authentic”.

Lovato goes on to say that in the first episode of 4D with Demi Lovato, they are excited to share what this news means to them, and what it may look like to other people.

They add: “I want to make it clear that I’m still learning and coming into myself.

“I don’t claim to be an expert or a spokesperson.”

In the Twitter thread, Lovato also wrote: “I’m doing this for those out here that haven't been able to share who they truly are with their loved ones. Please keep living in your truths and know I am sending so much love your way xox.”

Previously, Lovato also came out as pansexual, which is a sexual orientation that refers to someone who can find romantic or sexual attraction with anyone.

Sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression are all separate from one another.

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What does non-binary mean?

While many people identify as either male or female, not everyone feels that they can fit into either of these two categories.

Non-binary is a term used to describe someone who feel that their gender “cannot be defined within the margins of gender binary” and instead, experience their gender “in a way that goes beyond simply identifying as either a man or a woman” the LGBT Foundation says.

LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall defines non-binary as “an umbrella term for people whose gender identity doesn’t sit comfortably with “man” or “woman”.

“Non-binary identities are varied and can include people who identify with some aspects of binary identities, while others reject them entirely.”

While Lovato has announced that they will be using they/them pronouns from now on, not all non-binary people exclusively use they/them pronouns. Some might use she/her or he/him pronouns (or both), but they are still non-binary.

Who are some other non-binary celebrities?

Lovato isn’t the only celebrity to come out as non-binary - notably, singer Sam Smith came out as non-binary in 2019.

They took to social media with a post that read: “Today is a good day, so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM. After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.

“I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think, but f**k it!

“I understand there will be many mistakes and misgendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.”

Jonathan Van Ness, from Netflix’s reboot of makeover show Queer Eye, also came out as non-binary in 2019.

Van Ness feels comfortable using any pronouns, like he/him, they/them and she/her. In their Twitter bio, Van Ness has written “They/He/She”.

Earlier this year, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK stars Bimini Bon Boulash and Ginny Lemon moved viewers after they had a very open and heartfelt discussion about being non-binary in one episode of the show.

There are also a number of non-binary characters in film and TV, for example

- Double Trouble in She-Ra and the Princess of Power

- Garnet in Steven Universe

- Hange Zoë in Attack on Titan

- The Adjudicator in John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum

- Crowley in Good Omens

- Ripley Lennox in Hollyoaks

- Taylor Mason in Billions

- Klaus Hargreeves in The Umbrella Academy