Demi Lovato said they felt "held back" before making the decision to come out as non-binary.
In a conversation with Jane Fonda on the May 28 episode of the Monster-in-Law actress' series Fire Drill Fridays, Demi spoke about the ways in which they felt the patriarchy forced them to identify as female.
The "Tell Me You Love Me" singer shared that they spent "years" living their life for other people and trying to make themselves "smaller for the patriarchy" before deciding enough was enough.
"The patriarchy, they run the industry, they are at the center of everything," Demi, who first came out as non-binary on May 19 as part of their podcast series 4D, explained. "When I realized that, I thought, 'What are the ways that the patriarchy has been holding me back?' And for me, it was putting me in a box telling me, 'You are a female, this is what you're supposed to like, this is what you're supposed to do, don't dream bigger and don't speak louder.'"
Now, the singer hopes to use empathy as a way to bridge gaps between people during this divisive time.
"I think all I can encourage people to do is to find more compassion and to have more empathy for others," they said. "If you're having a hard time finding that towards others, go within yourself, find it within yourself so you can find it for others because that's what will bring us together is, that unity."
The Camp Rock alum previously opened up about exploring their queer identity in an interview with Glamour. The former Disney Channel star, who was engaged to actor Max Ehrich before calling it quits just two months later, shared that the broken engagement was a wake-up call.
"When I started getting older, I started realizing how queer I really am," the artist said. "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."