Dove Cameron Says She Was Afraid to Come Out as Queer: 'I Felt Like I Wouldn't Be Accepted'
Dove Cameron first came out to fans on Instagram Live last year
Dove Cameron is opening up about her sexuality and her coming out journey.
The Liv and Maddie star, who came out as bisexual during an Instagram Live last year, told Gay Times in a recent interview that she was initially afraid she wouldn't be accepted — but is glad she can now serve as an inspiration for her fans.
"I was never confused about who I was," she told the outlet, later noting that she feels the label of "queer" works best for her. "I felt like I wouldn't be accepted and I had this strange narrative that people wouldn't believe me."
"I hope it helps, that's why I came out," she continued. "It felt like something that I could never talk about. I feel like the industry has changed a lot in terms of having room for people with platforms to be human and not to be picked apart. I was really nervous to come out and, one day, I dropped it because I was behaving like somebody who was out and I realized I wasn't. When you are who you are, you assume people see that and then you realize, 'No, I have to come out otherwise people aren't gonna know.'"
Cameron, 25, said she decided to publicly come out after one of her lyric videos led to claims from viewers that she was "queerbaiting."
"I've hinted about my sexuality for years while being afraid to spell it out for everybody," she said. "I did a lyric video last year, for 'We Belong.' It had moving line drawings of people falling in love… It was all a man and a woman making out and it was a weird moment for me."
"It was so bizarre that I had to ask to mix in different orientations," Cameron explained. "People started asking for hints about the video and I used different combinations of emoji couples making out. When the song came out, everybody got the idea that the song was a big LGBTQ+ anthem song and I found myself in this position where everyone thought I was queerbaiting."
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The actress and singer then turned to social media in August of last year to address her own sexuality.
"I went on Instagram Live and said 'Guys, I really needed to explain something to you. Maybe I haven't said it, but I'm super queer. This is something I want to represent through my music because it's who I am,'" she said.
"Ever since then, I've had such an unbelievable relationship with my fans and we have this very safe space that we've created," she added. "A lot of my fans have come out to me. A lot of my fans have told me that, because it's such a non-issue with me. It wasn't a big announcement. It was never something I really dove into. It was like here I am and here I always have been."
She said seeing others in the entertainment industry living their truth led to her "questioning if I could do that."
"It was the beginning of a bookmark in my brain thinking, 'Wait a minute, can I live life honestly in the public eye — is that something that's publicly available to me?'" she said.
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She continued, "I'm not a label person, but I would say that I am queer and that's probably my most accurate way to represent myself. With the process of coming out, it was about who I am as a whole rather than who I choose to date or sleep with. I'm choosing to love myself, to be who I am every day and not edit myself depending on the room that I'm in. I'm making no apologies for who I am. I'm not saying it slightly differently to make people more comfortable."
Cameron also touched on her split from actor Thomas Doherty last October and how it inspired the music she was writing at the time.
"I was at the end of a very big chapter closing in my life and I was struggling to focus on myself, so when the relationship ended, I was having a hard time stepping back into my power and focusing on where I was," she said.