Demi Lovato Says They 'Never Truly Identified' with Being a 'Sexy, Feminine' Pop Star
On Thursday, the 28-year-old singer launched a new action and sweepstakes campaign with Propeller that will benefit organizations including the Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project and The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness.
"I really believe that when I overdosed in 2018, it was because I was ignoring my truth. I went to such great lengths to suppress who I really am to fit this sexy, feminine pop star and actress image that others had assigned for me that I never truly identified with," they tell PEOPLE exclusively. "I did it though because I thought that's how it was supposed to be."
But now, Lovato says they have learned "how important it is to live your truth and not suppress yourself."
"You can only carry on like that for so long before it comes spilling out and manifesting, sometimes negatively, in other ways," adds the "Easy" singer.
Fans who support the Equality Act and participate in the Human Rights Campaign's "Count Me In" movement will have a chance to earn prizes close to Lovato's heart, including outfits they have worn on tour and TV appearances.
"This is a crucial moment. In this year alone, we've already seen 36 states introduce bills specifically targeting trans youth. Those who have experienced hate simply for being themselves know the longstanding damage this can have on their lives," says Lovato.
"The Human Rights Campaign's 'Count Me In' movement for trans and non-binary equality asks allies to send a message that you vow to go out of your way to raise awareness and uplift the lives of our trans and non-binary friends and family," they add. "That you will contact your state legislatures to tell them we won't tolerate any more discrimination. That you will speak out. This campaign from HRC makes it easy to take action. I hope everyone will participate."
A sweepstakes and auction prize will include a wellness-themed trip to Joshua Tree, California, personally curated by Lovato.
"My fans know that Joshua Tree in the California desert holds a special place in my heart, so I've put together some of my favorite places and things to do while there," says Lovato, who is set to host an upcoming unscripted UFO investigation series for Peacock. "You'll get to search for aliens while exploring Joshua Tree National Park, attend a sound bath meditation and spend a night in the Invisible House, where I took my album photos, and have a professional photoshoot of your own."
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