Dove Cameron on Celebrating Her First Pride Month Since Coming Out as Queer (Exclusive)
By Paige Gawley
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Dove Cameron is thrilled to be celebrating her first Pride Month since publicly coming out. The 25-year-old singer told ET's Katie Krause that including herself in the celebratory month has been a long time coming.
"This is going to be my first Pride Month, like, really, really out. My friend texted me the other day and was like, 'This month is for you,' and I was like, 'Oh... wow,'" she said. "There's a lot of emotion around my coming out that I didn't really anticipate because I've always been out in my private life... I knew I was going to come out, but it's different."
"I feel different being out and having people say things like that to me, like, 'Happy Pride Month.' I'm like, 'Oh, thank you. Thanks,'" Cameron continued. "I'm usually the one wishing happy Pride Month and counting myself like an ally. So yeah, it's special. It's special. I need to figure out what I'm going to do."
After asking herself "Do I belong here?" for years, Cameron is proud to feel like she finally does.
"Even if you've known who you are your whole life, I think there's sort of a common feeling of like, 'Oh, I can't enter into the LGBTQ community because...' [of] all these reasons that we make up in our head," she explained. "... There have been a couple times in my personal life where I've told somebody who I was, and it was received with skepticism or some kind of misconception about what sexuality really means to someone."
"I think that because of that, and because it is something so personal... I was like, 'Oh god, what if that happens all over the world? What if that happens at a mass scale and then I'm constantly defending something that is just like so me and so intimate? I don't want to do that. Am I ready to feel that way all the time? Am I ready to constantly go to bat with someone who doesn't even deserve my energy around this because they're going to question something that is so intrinsic to me?'" Cameron added.
The singer noted that she's "facing a lot" of those fears now, a process she began last year when she referred to herself as "super queer." Months later, she wrote on Twitter that she's "been bi." Though Cameron's references to her sexuality were news to fans, it's something she's been open about it her private life.
"People think that they know about you, especially when you live out loud like me," she said. "I think a lot of people think they know everything about someone like me, since I share so much."
"I have been out in my own personal life ever since I can remember. I think the first time I had a conversation about my sexuality, I was like eight years old with my mom. Anybody who I've met since then... I've said I'm bi... and it's just been like, 'Oh, OK.' Nobody's ever been like, 'What?'" Cameron added. "... I don't think it's a big shock once you get to know me, really. When I came out last year, I really was like, 'Oh great, there it is.'"
Cameron's sexuality was brought into the spotlight again this year, when she covered the summer issue of Gay Times, and spoke more about the topic.
"When I came out a year ago, I really thought that was going to be it. I thought I had said it and I thought everybody just knew... Then when the Gay Times cover came out... I was shocked with how many people were shocked," Cameron said, adding that the response has "definitely been interesting."
"I think last year felt safer to me because there just wasn't as much of a reaction... It's an interesting feeling when something's so intrinsic and pure about who you are means anything at all to people," she said. "...It just feels like suddenly everybody's in your living room... It's very strange."
The feeling was a new one for Cameron, who's typically, she said, "very, very open" about her life.
"It's been an interesting week, processing that with the amount of text messages I got and lovely, lovely support," she said. "[I got] a lot of support from my queer family, my LGBTQ family, and important people in my life, or people who I barely know."
While Cameron said the response has "been really, really wonderful," she noted that it's also been "an adjustment to being witnessed in that way by people who aren't important to you."
"The world has an opinion about something that is so just natural," she said. "... I'm definitely adjusting to that, but for the most part, it's been really, really wonderful and it feels new. I feel very new. Suddenly, there's loads of things that I feel very in touch with that aren't just my identity, my sexuality."
Cameron also knows that speaking publicly about her sexuality will impact her young fans.
"I think it was very important that I did that for myself and also for my young fans who are so impressionable. They might not feel like they can see themselves in their idols. I think that it's so important," she said. "I did it for me. I did it for me, but I think that the beautiful thing about living your life for yourself is then you make room for other people to live their lives for themselves in whatever way that means to them. That's very important to me."
Being open about her sexuality is one way Cameron hopes she can help to "destigmatize basically everything."
"Stigma is such an ego-based, unnecessary [thing]. It's old. It's old. We're bored," she said. "I think we just need to destigmatize everything and rehumanize everything."