Sam Smith Gets Real About Coming Out as Non-Binary in a 'Homophobic & Sexist' Industry

Maggie West
Sam Smith

It's been a stunning year for pop phenomenon Sam Smith. Along with releasing their latest pop-driven singles like "Dancing With a Stranger" (with Normani) and "How Do You Sleep," Smith also managed to finally express their truest self by coming out as non-binary and officially changing their pronouns to "they/them."   

But in a new interview with SiriusXM Hits 1, Smith revealed that the decision has proven to be a continuing struggle. While Smith said they were "loving" being out and proud, they couldn't deny the harsh realities of what coming out as non-binary meant today, both in and outside of the music business. "I'm scared every day ... just being my feminine self in this world that we're in," they said. "The music industry ... can be a bit homophobic, it's a bit sexist at times."

Smith added that they had to confront the reality of what it meant to embrace their femininity during the shoot for the "How Do You Sleep" video, and it turned out to be liberating. "I think creatively, I'm realizing now, that's the best space to be in. Because you feel joy quicker when you're being vulnerable like that," they said. "I've always been like that, when I've been in the club and with my friends ... but I think showing it to the world and showing it to people is a different thing, isn't it. And I finally felt safe enough to do so."

Along with chatting about the importance of vulnerability, Smith also took on lighter fare, pointing out that while they'd gotten much better at walking in heels, they still have a hard time performing in them. "I don't know how you girls do it," they said with a laugh. "I can't go out dancing in heels ... singing live in heels is a bit impossible."

Check out the full clip of Smith's interview below:

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