"I'm so glad to hear you say all this, Demi. I'm just so proud of you and I'm so glad, and I admire it so much," Fonda praised the young singer.
Trailblazing actor and feminist icon Jane Fonda's eyes welled up with tears of pride as she listened to Demi Lovato share their gender journey and explain how they came to the realization that they are non-binary. The two stars shared the emotional moment while discussing oppression and the patriarchy during a new interview on Lovato's 4D With Demi Lovato podcast. "When did that come to you, the realization that patriarchy is at the root of it?" Fonda asked the "Dancing With The Devil" singer. "I think it came in two tiers for me. I think the first tier was going to a friend's poetry slam show that I identified so profoundly with, because they were talking about not conforming to genders and identifying not as male or female," Lovato replied.
Jane Fonda breaks down in tears as Demi Lovato explains their brave non-binary journey https://t.co/UGVylyhDSF— PinkNews (@PinkNews) June 18, 2021
"When I heard their take on that, I identified with it so much that I thought to myself, 'Oh, there's something here. There's something that I've never known about my entire life but it's clicking now and I need to research this, I need to do more work, I need to sit with this.' So I did, I sat with it for over a year, and the more I sat with it the more research I did," they continued. "The reasoning behind me cutting my hair off was because I was shedding all of the gender norms that had been placed on me growing up female in this world."
"And I just always found that men were at the root of pushing their agendas on me – to be a sexy pop star, whatever would make other people the most money," Lovato shared. "And I had to break that mold because I had to find the freedom for myself in order to survive, to live." The 28-year-old went on to reflect on their near-death experience in 2018, when they were hospitalized following a drug overdose. This incident, Lovato told Fonda, was a wake-up call for them "to start living [their] life."
"There was a voice inside of me that said, 'You're not living, and if you don't start living your life for you it's going to be your demise.' So I woke up and I thought, 'You know what, I'm going to live my truth, and no matter who it scares – no matter who in the patriarchy it shakes – I'm going to live my truth for me,'" Lovato explained. Noticing that Fonda had been moved to tears by their words, the singer paused to ask the longtime activist's thoughts on the matter. "What you're saying is so brave. It's so, so brave, I wish I could hug you right now," Fonda said.
"I'm so glad to hear you say all this, Demi. I'm just so proud of you and I'm so glad, and I admire it so much. I'm so glad that you came out of that because I've seen the documentary, that you came out of that with that realization and that you're finding your real truth and it's just wonderful. It's just wonderful," she added. Lovato replied that Fonda's support gave "full-body chills." The pair's discussion comes just weeks after the singer told the world that they are non-binary.
On May 19, Lovato posted the following on their Instagram, alongside a heartfelt video: "Every day we wake up, we are given another opportunity and chance to be who we want and wish to be. I've spent the majority of my life growing in front of all of you... You've seen the good, the bad, and everything in between. Not only has my life been a journey for myself, I was also living for those on the other side of the cameras. Today is a day I'm so happy to share more of my life with you all - I am proud to let you know that I identify as non-binary and will officially be changing my pronouns to they/them moving forward."
"This has come after a lot of healing and self-reflective work. I'm still learning and coming into myself, and I don't claim to be an expert or a spokesperson. Sharing this with you now opens another level of vulnerability for me. I'm doing this for those out there 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," they added.