Sam Smith reveals how changing their pronouns ‘felt like coming home’

Sam Smith has spoken out about changing their pronouns and why doing so “felt like coming home”.

The 30-year-old singer, who came out as non-binary and gender queer in 2019, addressed what they’ve learned since changing their pronouns to they/them during a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1.

They noted that there are two important sides to their life: personal and public. Regarding their personal life, they said there hasn’t been anyone who’s negatively responded to their pronoun change.

“My family, they can communicate with me, they always did, but they communicate with me now in an even better way,” Smith explained. “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.”

The “Like I Can” singer further explained the “abundunce of joy” that they’ve felt throughout the last few years. They also said that they wished they changed their pronouns sooner.

“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,” they continued. “Because it is who I am and it’s who I’ve always been.”

Smith then confessed that the “struggles” they’ve faced, sinc coming out, have been in their public life and job. They candidly discussed how difficult it is to avoid any criticism that’s been said about their identity, especially online.

“The amount of hate and s***ness that came my way was just exhausting. And it was really hard and it’s not like, this isn’t me sitting at home Googling my name,” they said. “It was on the f***ing news. It was hard not to look.”

Smith also noted that while they can stop themselves from Googling themselves and “reading comments” about them online, this isn’t necessarily the case when they step outside. More specifically, they disscused some of the hatred they’ve experienced on the streets of the UK, which is where they’re from.

“I’m being abused in the street, verbally, more than I ever have. So that was the hardest part, I think, was being at home in the UK and having people shouting at me in the street,” the “Unholy” singer added. “Someone spat at me right, in the street. It’s crazy.”

They concluded their remark by addressing their concerns for children, who identify as queer, and the kind of hatred that they could be experiencing.

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

They also noted that while in New York or Los Angeles, they feel like they can “dress and be [themsevles] more,” as opposed to when they’re home in the UK.

This isn’t the first time that Smith has spoken candidly about their identity and confidence. During a recent interview with Rolling Stone UK, they opened up about being “exhausted” by people “staring” at them for “dressing up”, throughout the early days of their career. As a result, Smith said that they started “exploring a more masculine wardrobe and setting”.

However, the “Stay With Me” performer said they became “fed up with fitting in” so they returned to dressing the way that they wanted to, which they said was an experience that “changed everything”.

“There was a part of me that felt like I was explaining something that’s always been there, which is a wonderful feeling,” they said. “At times it’s been hard, and it’s been a struggle, but the closer you feel to yourself, there’s nothing but joy there. Having people see me and understand me in the way that I’ve always wanted them to is a real gift and it’s never too late to do that.”