July 20, 2016 at 4:59 pm EDT | by Keith Loria
Lovato, Jonas kindred spirits

‘2016 Honda Civic Tour Featuring Demi Lovato & Nick Jonas: Future Now’
Tuesday, July 26
7 p.m.
Verizon Center
601 F St., N.W.

Nick Jonas joins Demi Lovato on the D.C. stop of their Future Now Tour on Tuesday, July 26. (Photo courtesy 42 West)

Nick Jonas joins Demi Lovato on the D.C. stop of their Future Now Tour on Tuesday, July 26. (Photo courtesy 42 West)

Singer and actress Demi Lovato is a strong supporter of LGBT rights. She played a lesbian character on Fox’s “Glee,” served as grand marshal of the Los Angeles Pride Parade this year and has spoken openly about her grandfather’s homosexuality. She’s also partnered with the Human Rights Campaign on the Americans for Marriage Equality campaign, which supports marriage equality.

“Well, I think first of all, for me, my connection with the gay community — the LGBT community — I’ve always kind of been kind of like an outsider when I lived in Texas,” Lovato says. “I never fit it and I didn’t agree with a lot of the opinions down in the South, and when I got out to California, I just saw a whole new world and I thought I have no idea why this isn’t like the rest of the U.S., and the rest of the world, to be honest. So, I’m just standing up for what’s right and that’s my connection with it.”

On July 26, Lovato and touring partner Nick Jonas head to the Verizon Center as part of their Honda Civic Tour: “Future Now,” in support of Lovato’s newest album, “Confident” and Jonas’ latest release, “Stone Cold.”

Never afraid to speak her mind, earlier this year Lovato appeared at the Billboard Music Awards wearing a mesh shirt with a symbol that’s come to represent trans people in the ongoing fight for trans legal protections (and the opposition’s obsession with bathrooms).

“I feel like, for me, I want to use my voice to make a difference in the world,” Lovato says. “There’s so much more to my voice than just singing and I learned that at a young age. I had a moment where I just thought, ‘You know I want to do so much more than just sing,’ and I grew up with people that were judged for being gay and I never understood it.”

Lovato and Jonas even decided to cancel their performances in North Carolina in support of these beliefs.

“I think that Demi and I felt it to be really important and it’s a tough call to make,” Jonas says. “We obviously feel disappointment ourselves knowing that our fans that were looking forward to the show were disappointed but there are these moments when something is as important to you as this issue was and is, where you kind of have to make a strong stand and hope that your fans unify with you and do their best to make that change and see positive outcomes. But it is just an overall disappointing situation and hopefully there are artists that are always willing to make bold choices to stand for what they believe in.”

Lovato agrees.

“I think that anything that you do, you need to do it to the max and if you can make a difference by, for instance, with the Billboard Awards, I knew that this was an issue that we had been dealing with, with the cancellation of the shows,” she says. “I wanted to make an impact and I wanted to make a statement that said, ‘Hey, listen, I hear you, I’m really sorry to the fans that are going to miss the show but this is an important issue to me and I want to speak out and I want to use my music to do it. I think it’s important for artists to remember that they can use their platform for the better.”

Although Lovato and Jonas are proud of their Disney pasts — she from the show “Sonny With a Chance,” he from “Jonas L.A.” and both from the “Camp Rock” movies — both have seen their music transform from Disney Radio to more adult mainstream.

“Demi is pushing me to get more vulnerable in my music with this next record and encouraging me to really open up about some things that happened in my life that I think will help people get even more connected to me,” Jonas says. “Those moments among friends and creative relationships are so important because I think they really shape not only your next steps but the way the world sees you as well which is key in making a transition from a youthful career to what hopefully is a long-lasting adult tour.”

Lovato feels the transition was a little easier for her due to the press about her rehab and problems she encountered through the years.

Demi Lovato (Photo courtesy 42 West)

Demi Lovato (Photo courtesy 42 West)

“I kind of grew up really fast in the public eye in that way and so when it was time to release my music, I think people looked at me differently,” she says. “I wanted to prove to people that I wasn’t just a stereotypical Hollywood starlet that goes to rehab and falls back into the trap of the things that got her there. I wanted to make sure that the music that I made was great and that I was passionate about the music that I put out and I sang my heart out and I also wanted to continue the message of using my platform for more things than just singing about heartbreak. That’s what music is for, is getting you through times, but also using it to inspire people.”

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