Sam Smith has asked to be referred to as ‘they’ not ‘he’, six months after confirming a non-binary identity, according to reports.
Smith has spoken previously of ‘the war’ experienced in finding their identity.
The singer is said to have asked family and friends to make the change, as they thanked Hits Radio presenter James Barr on Twitter for referring to the star as ‘they’, as per The Sun.
A source told the publication:
This is a decision Sam has thought long and hard about, including doing a lot of reading on up it.
He knows that it will take some people longer than others to fully get it.
First the request is going out to mates and then it will be passed on to the music industry too. It’s an exciting and groundbreaking time for him.
It comes after James tweeted on Monday:
just interviewed @samsmith and they sounded so happy and free and more themselves than ever. it’s made me feel like the world is a good place again.
You’re one of the first people to use these pronouns with me. Thank you. That feels really beautiful
— Sam Smith (@samsmith) September 10, 2019
Sam responded to the presenter:
You’re one of the first people to use these pronouns with me. Thank you. That feels really beautiful.
Back in March, Sam came out as identifying as non-binary, explaining how they fluctuate between identifying with the male and female gender.
A person who identifies as non-binary doesn’t define themselves as either male or female and often prefers they/them pronouns.
In a candid interview with British GQ, Sam recently detailed their experience with sexuality, explaining how ‘not fitting in’ can make them feel ‘really depressed and sad.’
The singer also recalled ‘violent and scary’ experiences within the gay community shortly after moving to London, admitting they were forced to have therapy to come to terms with the ‘traumatic’ encounters.
Explaining the decision to publicly come out as non-binary, Sam said:
Ever since I was a little boy, ever since I was a little human, I didn’t feel comfortable being a man really. I never really did.
Some days I’ve got my manly side and some days I’ve got my womanly side, but it’s when I’m in the middle of that switch that I get really, really depressed and sad. Because I don’t know who I am or where I am or what I’m doing, and I feel very misunderstood by myself. I realised that’s because I don’t fit into either.
I was with my mum last night and she said something so beautiful: ‘I’m so relieved that you and me and your whole family have a way to explain this, because it’s also been eating me up your whole life.’
Because my mum could see it and that it was a torture going on in my mind.
While the concept of not identifying to one singular gender is fairly new to the public sphere, and therefore can take a little bit of time to understand, it’s important to note that how other people identify doesn’t affect me or you. Something as simple as pronouns may mean nothing to cisgender people, but could be lifechanging to those who identify as non-binary.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open Mondays and Fridays, 8 pm to midnight and is run by trans volunteers.
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.