Oscar-winning singer Sam Smith has asked those closest to them to start using the non-gendered pronoun ‘they’, rather than the masculine ‘he’, in what looks to be an exciting step on their gender identity journey. Speaking to Jameela Jamil as part of her I Weigh series earlier this year, the star opened up about their non-binary identification: ‘I am not male or female’, said Smith, explaining ‘I think I float somewhere in between - somewhat on the spectrum.’
Non-binary people identify as neither exclusively masculine nor solely feminine – in Smith’s words, ‘You do not identify in a gender. You are just you. You are your own special creation. That is how I take it.’ The announcement that Smith is beginning to use gender neutral pronouns came after journalist James Barr tweeted about interviewing the star on September 9th, referring to Sam with their correct pronouns and saying '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.' Smith replied ‘You’re one of the first people to use these pronouns with me. Thank you. That feels really beautiful.'
A source told The Sun that the decision is something that ‘Sam has thought long and hard about, including doing a lot of reading on up it’, and acknowledged that Smith ‘knows […] it will take some people longer than others to fully get it.’ Explaining that ‘the request is going out to mates and then it will be passed on to the music industry too’, the source described the moment for Smith as ‘an exciting and groundbreaking time.'
Back in May, the singer spoke eloquently about their lifelong experience of existing outside the gender binary: ‘Ever since I was a little boy, ever since I was a little human, I didn’t feel comfortable being a man really’, they said, explaining that ‘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.’
We’re squarely behind you, Sam – and hopefully, the decisive step of opening up a discourse about non-binary gender identity will prove that there’s no need to hide your glory in a box that doesn’t fit. Certainly, it’s already paving the way into the mainstream for a much-needed conversation – online, and far beyond.