Demi Lovato’s date to the American Music Awards was transgender pioneer Danica Roem
Demi Lovato brought groundbreaking transgender lawmaker Danica Roem to the American Music Awards last night.
The Sorry Not Sorry singer, a longtime LGBT advocate, revealed last month that she was open to dating women, saying: “That’s how I’ve always felt.”
Lovato said she wanted to take Roem to the AMAs because she was “inspired” by her journey, which saw Roem unseat transphobic 26-year incumbent Bob Marshall earlier this month.
The 25-year-old star, who also performed at the awards show, said: “We connected because I heard her story – and when I heard [it] I was just completely inspired by it.”
As an anti-bullying activist, she related to Roem’s struggles, which Lovato spoke about in her emotional YouTube documentary, Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated.
“My story with Sorry Not Sorry is about bullying,” she said of her new song.
“I wanted to have her in the audience with me tonight because I feel like we’ve been through some of the same things and now we get to share this experience together.”
Roem, a heavy metal vocalist as well as the first ever trans person to be elected to the Virginia House of Representatives, said she was “overwhelmed” by Lovato’s invitation.
Speaking to E!, she continued: “I’m really grateful that Demi has spent her career advocating for people who need a voice when they feel voiceless and that she really understands that no matter what you look like, who you worship, or you love, you should be welcomed and celebrated because of who you are, not despite it.”
Lovato added that being a role model to people in need was important to both her and Roem.
“Some fans are saying that I’ve inspired them to either get over certain struggles in their lives they’ve been through – whether it’s bullying [or] a mental illness, she said.
“Some people actually say that I’ve saved their life, which is unfathomable and I can’t comprehend it fully, but it means everything to me,” Lovato added.
Writing on Twitter after the event, Roem said: “I’ll always stand for inclusion & against bullying.
“Demi Lovato’s performance tonight made it clear that’s where she stands too. Thank you for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said that the pair going to the AMAs together made a statement in favour of unity.
“Demi Lovato and Danica Roem are two strong and inspirational women who embody the need for all Americans to stand together united and to take action today against any form of discrimination and oppression,” she said.
When Roem was elected, she implicitly criticised Donald Trump for his divisiveness, putting out a message of unity.
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“A message of inclusion and equality resonated here,” she said, adding a further dig.
“Facts matter, and alternative facts are B.S.”
Watch the wonderful pair on the red carpet here:
— AMAs (@AMAs) November 20, 2017