Demi Lovato continues telling her truth after releasing the first two episodes of her most recent documentary, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil. A four-part chronicle where she, her family, friends, and team narrates the moments that led her to overdose in 2018 and the road to Lovato’s recovery.
During an interview with Entertainment Weekly (EW), the “Skyscraper” interpreter revealed she stopped holding back who she is and now is sharing things it is right to put out there. Now, more than ever, she is embracing her sexuality. “If I’m painting a picture as an artist, telling my truth is so important to me. I don’t censor my substance use in ‘Dancing With the Devil.’ I don’t hold back from that, so I don’t want to hold back from any other place in my authenticity, you know?” she told the publication.
“While I desperately hope that it doesn’t trigger anybody, I also know how important it is for people that are going through those things to have an outlet to be able to listen to. I want to make sure that people know that I’m not glamorizing anything. That’s the sad reality of how lonely it can be when you’re in that position.”
According to Lovato, labels and suppressing her feelings led her to make wrong decisions. “I never want to box myself into anything anymore,” she says. “That’s what, I think, led to all this — me putting pressure on myself and feeling pressured by others to be something of a role model.”
The 28-year-old singer knows some of her fans might criticize her for choosing marijuana and occasional drinking as a moderated path to recovery instead of absolute abstinence. “They don’t have to love it. They don’t have to like it,” she says. “As long as they have a conversation about it and they learn something, then I feel like I’ve done my part.”
Demi Lovato knows it is a long journey, and she has come a long way; however, although she is blessed to be alive today, there are certain words she refrains from saying to describe her feelings. “I’m cautious to use the word happy because no one’s ever happy 24/7, but I’m content,“ she told EW. “I do have a lot of joy in my life today that has really come from spending so much time with myself. Yeah.”
By spending time exploring her thoughts and feelings, now, more than ever, the superstar can also assure that “she’s also really queer. Really, really queer.”
Her most recent public relationship and breakup are with Max Ehrich. Within months the actor’s status went from new boyfriend to ex-fiancé. Not in the documentary or Demi’s new album, Ehrich’s name is mentioned; however, some references point out his passage in Lovato’s life. According to EW, the song “15 Minutes” talks about the drama involving the split and how the actor made headlines for a couple of weeks: “Good riddance — you got your 15 minutes.”
According to Demi, Ehrich’s engagement gave her a false sense of stability she thought she needed to feel complete. “I really had myself fooled because it was the safe and expected thing,” she says. “Obviously, I cared deeply about the person, but there was something inside of me that was like, ‘I have to prove to the world that I’m okay.’ Now that I’m not engaged or married, and I’m okay, I’m like, ‘Wow. Isn’t that so much more empowering?’ It’s not this false sense of security.”
“Also, the size of that ring, it made it really real. The second it was off, I was like, ‘You know what? I’m good. I don’t need that.’ I just don’t need an object on my finger to make me feel like I’ve got my s--- together. It looks like stability, but it doesn’t mean that it is.”
For Lovato, it is imperative to live up to her standards and no based on what the patriarchy dictates. “And I don’t actually grow through stability. I find that I like living not in chaos or crisis, but in fluidity,” she said. “It’s not [being] stuck and stagnant in an ideal or a tradition that was placed upon us by the patriarchy.“
Although Demi Lovato is confident and freely speaking her truth, this wasn’t the case years ago. Her songs “Really Don’t Care” and “Cool for the Summer” gave the public just a glimpse of what she was feeling. “I never said anything,” Lovato admits. “Gender norms and sexuality norms aside, I kind of felt a prisoner to my entire career and childhood growing up in the South as a Christian.”
Lovato touches the subject once again in her 2017 documentary, Simply Complicated, after referring to the dating app Raya and how she was open to date men and women.
After breaking up with Ehrich, she also broke up with the stigma and the silence. For the first time, during a Facebook Watch special for National Coming Out Day in October 2020, she gave details about the time she discovered she also liked girls.
“I think time is everything,” she told EW. “The queerness in me was, like, ready to explode when I filmed the music video at Pride. I was so ready to be an activist. And then people would ask me, ‘Why are you so passionate about this?’ And I would clam up, like… When I watch that video, to this day, there’s a part of me that kind of cringes. I wanted so badly to be the person that I am today. I just wanted to find out who I was,” she said.
Ending things with Ehrich also gave Demi the tools to understand that she was “just too queer” to marry a man at this point in her life. “Regardless if drama is happening or not, I am too gay to marry a man right now,” she says. “I don’t know if that will change in 10 years, and I don’t know if that’ll never change, but I love accepting myself. I’ve always known I was hella queer, but I have fully embraced it.”