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Dove Cameron Reflects on ‘Special’ 1st Pride Month Since Coming Out: ‘It Feels Very Exposed and Different’ (Exclusive)

A new normal. Dove Cameron got honest about not always feeling comfortable in the LGBTQIA+ space and how the meaning behind Pride Month has shifted for her since coming out as queer.

Related: Stars at Pride Through the Years

“It was different for me because I think I’ve always sort of put myself, even though I’ve always known who I was, I’ve always kind of put myself in the ally category because I had some weird narrative about not deserving to be a part of the LGBTQ community,” Cameron, 25, exclusively told Us Weekly while promoting her new show Schmigadoon. “I don’t know what that is. Some inborn self-judgment [or] self-imposed something.”

Dove Cameron Reflects Special 1st Pride Month Since Coming Out
Dove Cameron. MediaPunch/Shutterstock

Since coming out, the actress described feeling more connected to celebrating Pride Month.

“But it’s been interesting because I was always really shy about it and [now] I’ve been getting so many, ‘Happy Pride for you!’ and I’m like, ‘Oh right,’ she explained to Us. “I’m not an ally. I’m a member part of this, I’m not just an ally. So it’s been, honestly, I would say it feels very vulnerable. It feels very exposed and different, but I’m surfing this new wave and it’s been really special. People have been really, really kind.”

Dove Cameron Reflects Special 1st Pride Month Since Coming Out
Dove Cameron. Courtesy of Dove Cameron/Instagram

Cameron, who was previously in a relationship with her Descendants 2 costar Thomas Doherty until October 2020, revealed that she was part of the LGBTQIA+ community earlier this year.

Related: Celebrity LGBTQ Allies

“I’m not a label person, but I would say that I am queer and that’s probably my most accurate way to represent myself,” the former Disney star told Gay Times magazine in May. “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. 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. I’m not saying it slightly differently to make people more comfortable.”

Cameron explained that she “was never confused” about who she was, but that she was worried she people wouldn’t believe her. Her choice to publicly come out came from wanting to help anyone else who could be questioning their sexual identity.

Dove Cameron Reflects Special 1st Pride Month Since Coming Out
Keegan-Michael Key, Dove Cameron and Cecily Strong in ‘Schmigadoon!’ Apple TV+

“I hope it helps, that’s why I came out,” she added at the time. “It felt like something that I could never talk about. I feel like the industry has changed a lot in terms of having room for people with platforms to be human and not to be picked apart.”

For Cameron, not being honest about who she was with the world felt like she was part of the problem.

Related: Celebrity Coming Out Stories

“I was really nervous to come out, and one day, I dropped it because I was behaving like somebody who was out and I realized I wasn’t,” she concluded. “When you are who you are, you assume people see that and the you realize, ‘No, I have to come out, otherwise people aren’t gonna know.’”

In the meantime, Cameron has since enjoyed working on the Apple TV+ musical comedy and getting to share scenes with Keegan-Michael Key, who played her romantic interest.

“It’s such a crazy pairing when I heard that it was Keegan. I was like, that is going to be hilarious because it’s just the last two people you would ever pair together now,” she told Us. “It was funny because Keegan is the person who I spent the most time with and he became my best friend on set. … So everything was really comfortable because we had this like bedrock of silliness and he just felt like my brother.”

Schmigadoon premieres on Apple TV+ on July 16.

With reporting by Mandie DeCamp

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