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Music

Sam Smith declares they/them as preferred pronouns. ‘Please please try’ to use them, singer says

 Sam Smith
Singer Sam Smith prefers the nonbinary pronouns they/them.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Grammy Award winner Sam Smith, who earlier this year came out as nonbinary, is now asking that people use the pronouns they/them when referring to the singer.

Smith made the declaration in a lengthy Twitter thread on Friday, revealing that “after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out” and hoping that people “can see me like I see myself now.”

“I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think,” the “Stay With Me” and “Dancing With a Stranger” singer added.

The soulful musician also acknowledged that there would be many mistakes involving misgendering, but asked that people “please please try” to use the chosen pronouns.

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The 27-year-old pop star opened up about gender identity and body image earlier this year in the debut episode of actress Jameela Jamil’s Instagram-based series, “I Weigh.” The conversation aired in March but took place long before that. In it, Smith revealed how they were bullied as a child, particularly because they carried more estrogen in their chest than most boys at age 11 and underwent liposuction to reduce their breast size.

“I am not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between,” Smith said. “I’ve always been very free in terms of thinking about sexuality, so I’ve just tried to change that into my thoughts on gender as well.”

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That’s also when the singer, who identifies as feminine and came out as gay in their teens, revealed that they identified as nonbinary and genderqueer, but said at the time that they planned to still use male pronouns.

That obviously changed by Friday when Smith noted that they were not yet at a stage “to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non binary.” The artist referred followers to top activists in the nonbinary and trans community on Twitter who have helped them get clarity. Those people and accounts include “Orange Is the New Black” star Laverne Cox and the media advocacy group GLAAD.

“So for now I just want to be VISIBLE and open,” Smith said, adding that they are scared but feeling “super free right now.”


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