Vogue: Demi Lovato Brought Transgender Politician Danica Roem as Her Date for the AMAs
By Mary Wang
The 2017 American Music Awards were filled with strong women—featuring a lineup that included Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Christina Aguilera (performing a Whitney Houston tribute), and Tracee Ellis Ross and her mother, Diana Ross. Demi Lovato added to the atmosphere of empowerment by inviting Virginia Delegate Danica Roem, the nation’s first openly transgender state legislator, as her date for the evening. Speaking to E! News on the red carpet, Lovato said, “My story with ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ is about bullying, and 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 Democrat, defeated the 13-term Republican incumbent Robert G. Marshall (who called himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe” and proposed a “bathroom bill” that would have forced Roem and other transgender people to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates) earlier this month.
In the early minutes of the show, Ellis Ross, the evening’s host, introduced Lovato’s performance by remarking on how women have started owning their bodies and their voices this year. Lovato then took the stage to perform her anthem “Sorry Not Sorry” with a crew of female backup dancers. “Baby, I’m sorry, I’m not sorry,” she sang. “Feeling inspired ’cause the tables have turned. Yeah, I’m on fire and I know that it burns.” With Roem by her side, Lovato has made clear that it was about time that the power had shifted.