Jane Fonda breaks down in tears as Demi Lovato explains their brave non-binary journey

Jane Fonda Demi Lovato

Jane Fonda broke down in tears as Demi Lovato explained how they came to realise that they are non-binary.

The trailblazing actor appeared on the singer’s podcast 4D with Demi Lovato to discuss her decades-spanning career and her ongoing fight to tackle the climate emergency.

While discussing discrimination and inequality, Lovato noted that oppression creates “an imbalance in the environment and the economy everywhere,” before adding: “I keep trying to tell all my friends, ‘It’s the patriarchy!'”

“When did that come to you, the realisation that patriarchy is at the root of it?” Fonda asked.

Lovato replied: “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.

“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. And I had to break that mould because I had to find the freedom for myself in order to survive, to live.”

Lovato went on to reflect on their near death experience in 2018, when they were hospitalised following a drug overdose. That incident, they told Fonda, was a wake-up call “to start living my 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.'”

Jane Fonda is ‘so proud’ of Demi Lovato

The singer then stopped, noticing that Fonda had started crying.

“What you’re saying is so brave. It’s so, so brave, I wish I could hug you right now,” she said.

She added: “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 realisation and that you’re finding your real truth and it’s just wonderful. It’s just wonderful.”

Lovato told Fonda that her support gave them “full body chills”.

“That means everything coming from you.”

Lovato’s discussion with Fonda came just weeks after she told the world that they are non-binary.

In a heartfelt video posted to social media in May, Lovato said they had been “doing some healing and self-reflective work” in the past year.

They went on to explain that they/them pronouns capture “the fluidity I feel in my gender expression” and would allow them to feel “authentic” and “true”.

Lovato has been flooded with supportive messages from fans and others in the music industry since they opened up about their gender identity.

In April 2022 Lovato updated her pronouns to they/them and she/her.