Dove Cameron Always Knew She Wasn’t Straight, Even if Hollywood Didn’t

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Dove Cameron is coming into her own, and with this growth comes a skilled balancing act of privacy and transparency. In a new interview with Refinery29, the actor and singer opened up about sharing parts of her life with the public — like during her now-famous Instagram Live in August 2020 in which she came out to her fans, calling herself “super queer.” Nearly a year later, Dove covered Gay Times, speaking extensively about her bisexuality in her interview. According to Dove, it wasn’t until that cover that the world beyond her fanbase caught on that she was queer.

“People need me to have a f*cking megaphone,” she said. “I came out a year ago and thought that was going to be it. I didn’t realize that nobody f*cking knew.”

Since celebrating her first Pride Month while publicly out, Dove has made clear in interviews that she’s always known she wasn’t straight, but her decision to embrace her queer identity in the public eye is an act of self-love.

“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,” Dove told Us Weekly last month. “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.”

Though Dove’s bisexuality was something she always understood, it was something Hollywood didn’t consider. “When I went into the industry, there was so much performative femininity happening, especially around 2012, especially being blonde on the Disney Channel,” the former Liv & Maddie and Descendants star shared with R29. “I didn't stand a f*cking chance.”

Dove began her run on the Disney Channel at age 15, shortly after the passing of her father. While she wasn’t forced to conform, she wasn’t necessarily encouraged to forgo a straight-passing identity, either. “...There was a lot of looking for male validation, right? Trying to please a massive corporation like Disney, I never had a conversation with them about my sexuality,” Dove explained. “They never asked me to hide anything… It’s more that people see me and go, ‘Oh, femme, straight, heterosexual, blonde.’ Who is going to look at me and guess otherwise? Everybody knew Kristen Stewart was gay. Nobody is going to think I'm gay. Nobody.”

Last fall, Dove and Descendants 2 co-star Thomas Doherty ended their relationship after nearly four years together. As Dove steps into a new chapter of her life — coming out publicly, being single and dating, working on the new Apple TV+ project Schmigadoon! — she is centering herself and identifying which parts of her life she wants to protect from the public. “I don't need the world to know that I have been through unending dark nights of the soul, limitless periods of chronic depression, anxiety, trauma, loss, and tragedy. I don't need to livestream it,” Dove said.

Dove has been going to therapy since she was eight years old, after experiencing a personal tragedy. Throughout her career, the starlet has been candid about mental health, therapy, and using her platform to contribute to what she calls a necessary “consciousness revolution,” and reduce the stigma around seeking mental health support.

“I witnessed so much pain early on in life, and I remember thinking that it’s so bizarre we pretend the pain doesn’t exist,” Dove told BeatRoute back in April. “Like, every person is in on this big secret, saying ‘We’re good,’ but, like, why? For who? What’s the point when the person next door could be going through the same things? These conversations help people, so let’s have them! There’s so much strength in vulnerability.”

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Want more from Teen Vogue? Check this out: Dove Cameron Opens Up About Being Queer

Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue