Demi Lovato reveals she identifies as pansexual, but what does that mean?

Marie Claire Dorking
·5-min read

Watch: Demi Lovato says she’s pansexual

Demi Lovato says she's "proud' to be part of the LGBTQIA+ "alphabet mafia", after revealing that she identifies as pansexual, which means she is attracted to all genders.

The 28-year-old singer/songwriter opened up about her sexuality during an appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

While talking about whether she wants to have children, Lovato said: “At this moment I want to adopt [children] for sure,” she said. “I also don’t know if I’m going to end up with a guy, so I can’t really see myself even getting pregnant.

“I don’t know. I’m so fluid now, and a part of the reason why I am so fluid is because I was super closeted off.”

Rogan clarified that she means “sexually fluid" and that she's interested in both women and men. Lovato replied, "Yeah — anything really."

He asked if the correct term to use is "pansexual" and Lovato replied: "Yeah, pansexual."

Lovato went on to say she heard someone call the LGBTQIA+ community the “alphabet mafia” — and loved the term.

“That's it! That's what I'm going with. I’m part of the alphabet mafia and proud,” she said.

Read more: Paris Jackson talks sexuality: ‘I’ve dated more women than men’

Demi Lovato has revealed she identifies as pansexual in a new interview, pictured in March 2021. (Getty Images for OBB Media)
Demi Lovato has revealed she identifies as pansexual in a new interview, pictured in March 2021. (Getty Images for OBB Media)

Lovato has previously spoken about being “sexually fluid”, revealing last year that she came out to her friends and family when she was 17.

“I pretty much told all of my friends and my older sister when I was 17,” she said. “They all knew before I brought it to my parents and then to the public. Those were my three phases: Friends, parents, public.”

Earlier this month the 28-year-old looked back on her journey to recognising and embracing her sexuality in an interview with Glamour.

“When I started getting older, I started realising how queer I really am," she said.

“This past year, I was engaged to a man and when it didn’t work, I was like: ‘This is a huge sign.’”

Lovato called off her engagement to Max Ehrich in September 2020 after just two months.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

What does being pansexual mean?

The word ‘pansexual’ is derived from the Greek prefix pan, meaning “all”.

Unsurprisingly, people sometimes mistake pansexuality with bisexuality although the two are actually subtly different.

“While being bisexual means being attracted to more than one gender, being pansexual means being attracted to all gender identities, or attracted to people regardless of gender,” GLAAD, an organisation supporting LGBTQ+ representation in the media, explains on their website.

Watch: 10 pansexual celebrities you need to know about

Lovato joins a growing band of celebrities publicly identifying as pansexual.

Last year, Lottie Moss, the younger sister of supermodel Kate Moss, revealed she identifies as pansexual.

The model, 22, was responded to a question about whether she would ever date a woman, during a Q&A session on her Instagram.

Moss replied: “I'm pansexual so I don't really mind... any gender. It kinda changes every day as well. It depends on who I meet.”

Also last year, Liberal Democrats MP, Layla Moran became the first openly pansexual member of parliament.

At the time, Moran told PinkNews about her experience of falling in love with a woman: “It was really wonderful on the one hand, but also quite surprising for me in how I had identified before.

“It wasn't really something I had done before or considered before, but sometimes when you meet the right person, it just kind of happens.”

Read more: Emma Roberts reveals she froze her eggs after fertility struggle

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Bella Thorne has also recently discussed being pansexual.

The 23-year-old former Disney child star had previously identified as bisexual, but told Good Morning America that after finding out about pansexuality, she has had a self realisation.

“I’m actually pansexual and I didn’t know that,” she explained. “Somebody explained to me really thoroughly what that is.

“You like beings. You like what you like. Doesn’t have to be a girl or a guy or a he or she or they or this or that. It’s literally you like personality.

“You just like a being.”

Read more: How the word “queer” has been reclaimed by a generation

Back in 2019, model Tess Holliday revealed she identified as pansexual.

The 35-year-old explained in an interview with NYLON magazine that she’s spent time reflecting on her sexuality and would consider a relationship with a woman, if she wasn’t happily married to husband Nick - who she wed in 2015.

Janelle Monae and Miley Cyrus have also both previously said they are pansexual.

“I went to the LGBTQ centre here in L.A., and I started hearing these stories,” Cyrus told Variety. “I saw one human in particular who didn’t identify as male or female. Looking at them, they were both: beautiful and sexy and tough but vulnerable and feminine but masculine. And I related to that person more than I related to anyone in my life.

“Once I understood my gender more, which was unassigned, then I understood my sexuality more,” she continued. “I was like, ‘Oh — that’s why I don’t feel straight and I don’t feel gay. It’s because I’m not.'”

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Monáe openly spoke about her sexuality, revealing that though she initially thought she identified as bisexual, she has now settled on the more inclusive pansexual.

“I read about pansexuality​ ​and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that​ ​I identify with too,’” she told Rolling Stone. “I’m open to learning​ ​more about who I am.”

She didn’t elaborate about what being pansexual means to her but said she hopes opening up might help anyone struggling with their own sexuality.

“I want young girls, young boys, nonbinary, gay, straight, queer people who are having a hard time dealing with their sexuality, dealing with feeling ostracised or bullied for just being their unique selves, to know that I see you,” she said.

Watch: Fitting into the LGBTQ+ community | Reality Check with Baga, Blu and Vinegar

Subscribe Now
Subscribe Now