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27th Jan 2023

Sam Smith reveals they were spat at in the street after changing their pronouns

Charlie Herbert

‘It’s just so sad that we’re in 2023 and it’s still happening’

Sam Smith has revealed they have been spat at in the street since coming out as non-binary and changing their pronouns.

The ‘Stay With Me’ singer changed their pronouns to they/them in 2019, and has spoken openly about their decision to do this.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the 30-year-old singer revealed that while there have been no issues with their new gender identity in their personal life, they had experienced harassment and abuse on the streets of England since coming out.

They explained: “I think all the only negatives in the struggle have been in my public life and my job. And just the amount of hate and s***tness that came my way was just exhausting.

“It was in the f***ing news. Someone spat at me in the street. It’s crazy. What I find hard about it is it’s like, if that’s happening to me and I’m famous, I’m a pop star, can you imagine what other kids, like queer kids are feeling?

“And it’s just so sad that we’re in 2023 and it’s still happening. It’s exhausting and especially in England.”

Sam added: “So we’ve got two sides, really. My personal life and then my public life. And in my personal life, there’s not one negative.

“My family, they can communicate with me. They always did. But they communicate with me now in an even better way. My love life has become better from it. I feel lovable. I feel comfortable in my skin, but I wear what I want to wear.

“Since changing my pronouns, it felt like a coming home. I wish I knew what the words were when I was in school, because I would’ve identified as that in school. Because it is who I am and it’s who I’ve always been.”

In the interview, Smith also criticised the Brits for not nominating any women in its Best Artist category.

They were one of the first people to call for awards ceremonies to introduce genderless categories instead of Best Male and Best Female artist, so that non-binary people can be nominated in category they feel represents them.

Smith said it’s a “shame” no women were nominated in the category this year, which is made up of Harry Styles, Stormzy, George Ezra, Central Cee and Fred Again.

They named the likes of Cat Burns, Anne Marie and Florence Welch a.k.a. Florence and the Machine as examples of “incredible female talent in the UK” that “should be on that list.”

They said: “Things are moving forward, but it’s obvious it’s not there yet. From seeing that [best artist] list, there is still a long way to go.

“It’s incredibly frustrating. It feels like it should be easy to do.”

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