“When I started getting older, I started realizing how queer I really am,” Lovato says, beaming. “This past year I was engaged to a man, and when it didn’t work, I was like, This is a huge sign. I thought I was going to spend my life with someone. Now that I wasn’t going to, I felt this sense of relief that I could live my truth.”
Like many single 20-somethings, she’s exploring this terrain through casual dating. And in this moment, Lovato says, she feels “too queer” to be with a cis man.
“I hooked up with a girl and was like, ‘I like this a lot more.’ It felt better. It felt right,” she says. “Some of the guys I was hanging out with—when it would come time to be sexual or intimate, I would have this kind of visceral reaction. Like, ‘I just don’t want to put my mouth there.’ It wasn’t even based on the person it was with. I just found myself really appreciating the friendships of those people more than the romance, and I didn’t want the romance from anybody of the opposite sex.”
Frankly, it’s taken Lovato a minute to want romance in general. The new documentary tracks that aforementioned 2020 relationship from engagement to breakup; when things ended, Lovato found herself questioning if she’d ever be able to open up to someone else again.
“Because I denied my intuition of all the red flags that had popped up, I had no one else to blame but myself,” she says. “So I was like, ‘How am I ever going to trust again?’ But really, I was like, ‘Bitch, you should have trusted yourself. If you had trusted yourself, you wouldn’t have ended up in this position.’”
Once Lovato stopped seeing herself as the victim of that situation, she was able to move forward. “My heart is pretty open,” she says. “I’m very much listening to my intuition, and that’s not to say my boundaries or my guard is up. It’s just saying my ears are perked a little higher and my eyes are open a little wider.”
As our 70-minute Zoom call ends, Lovato’s song “I Love Me” instantly pops into my head. “I wonder when ‘I love me’ is enough?” she asks herself over and over in the chorus, determined to find an answer. And it seems she’s found one—but it encompasses more than just loving herself. She’s now checking in with herself. Showing up for herself. Blocking out the noise and following her instincts.
Whether it’s building her dream cloud room or reframing her approach to sobriety, Demi Lovato’s path is finally, completely her own. “Nothing people say or do is going to really change the way I live,” she says. For the first time ever, she’s home.