"More days than not, I feel pulled towards no identity at all."
On Wednesday, May 18, Dove Cameron shared a series of candid selfies on Instagram in which she’s crying in the mirror. To accompany the shots, she posted a lengthy message about her mental health, writing: “I’ve been struggling lately with the concept of self, my inner relationship to who I know myself to be and my outer perceivable self who I feel I have never known but other people seem to.” Cameron identifies as queer and has been open about her sexuality and gender identity.
The 26-year-old actor, who’s known for starring in Disney’s Liv and Maddie as well as the Descendants film franchise, revealed that lately, she’s been “covering mirrors” and “feeling wrong in clothing that used to make me feel beautiful.”
“I’ve been crying a lot lately,” she said. “Sometimes terrorized by my identity and image, sometimes in absolute flow with something new and peripheral and joyous to me.”
She continued: "I don't know if I've ever slowed down enough to learn who I am outside of fight, flight or freeze. But the self finds ways of showing up anyway, trickling in enough to hint at who we might be if we didn't feel we had to be everything but the self."
Cameron then explained that “sexuality and performative gender norms, societal rewards, and identity” are what’s “throwing me for a loop.”
In her accompanying Instagram caption, Cameron added that she’s also been dealing with depression and dysphoria. “The self is someone I feel I have always deeply known, someone I deeply love and protect, like my own child, I know this self and we are very close,” she wrote. “For me, identity and the self have always been diametrically opposed, and there has only ever been room for one at a time to occupy my life.”
She said that she’s tried to make her identity and the self “hold hands,” but “more days than not, I feel pulled towards no identity at all.” Cameron also expressed wanting to speak out about her experience because she’s realized “these inner dialogues are actually pretty universal.”
“I never want you to feel alone in a sea of what seems like humans who are comfortable in their identity,” Cameron said. “We all deserve a life unburdened by the societally created identity, we all deserve to unlearn self abuse and self hatred. I am on that journey now, and I’m sharing so that we may all feel more comfortable in a conversation that may be confusing, and we may navigate something that feels difficult to put to words, together.”
She finished her note by writing, “Emotion is COOL. dysphoria is OK. living as a human is intense. we are all holding hands. don’t forget.”
Cameron’s message comes almost two years since she came out in August 2020. She opened up about her queer identity in a May 2021 interview with Gay Times. She told the publication that although she’s “not a label person,” queer is the “most accurate way” to represent herself. “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,” she said at the time. “I'm making no apologies for who I am. I'm not saying it slightly differently to make people more comfortable.”
On Feb. 11, Cameron dropped her single “Boyfriend,” which she described as a “queer anthem.” The star told The Hollywood Reporter in a March 9 interview that she was “terrified” of releasing the song because it featured such vulnerable lyrics about her expressing her sexuality.
“Boyfriend” ended up going viral on TikTok and even peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her first song outside of the Descendants franchise to land on the chart.
Cameron has always been an open book both in her music and on social media, and her latest message has really made an impact on fans who are going through similar situations in their lives.