Ever since coming out as gender non-binary and changing their pronouns to “they/them” back in September, pop superstar Sam Smith has been occasionally misgendered online, often by accident. Now, the star is letting their audience know that it’s OK to trip up — as long as you try to correct yourself.
Smith sat down with Australian news show The Project on Friday to chat about their performance at Sydney’s 2020 Mardi Gras and their public coming-out as non-binary. At one point, interviewer Carrie Bickmore admitted that, on her way to the interview, she was “tripping up” and had to constantly remind herself to call Smith by their correct pronouns. “I was like, ‘No, that’s what you [Smith] want,'” she said.
In turn, Smith admitted that they occasionally slip up on their own pronouns as well, highlighting the fact that in a heteronormative society, it can be difficult to adjust to new pronouns like they and them. “I’ll trip up too,” Smith said. “Of course I do, I’m a human being. I’ve been called ‘he’ and ‘him’ since the day I was born, 27 years of my life, so I can understand!”
Smith went on to say that their mother will also occasionally slip back to calling them by “he” or “him” and get upset with herself for doing so. “It’s like, ‘It’s OK, but it is important’ — you know?” they said. “All I can say is, when people use my pronouns correctly, it’s a wonderful feeling. I feel safe, and I feel happy, and I feel completely seen.”
During the interview, Smith also opened up about the moment they realized they identified as non-binary, which was during a tour stop in Brisbane, Australia. “I had a massive night out at the end of the tour, and I was drunk at like 3 a.m. with my bandmates and my friends in my room,” they said. “I had just started hearing about the term ‘non-binary,’ I had never heard it before. The pronoun thing, for me, just felt like a flag in the ground, kind of like, ‘This is how I want to be treated by everyone.'”
Check out Sam Smith’s full interview below:
Sam Smith sat down for a chat with their number one fan, our very own @BickmoreCarrie.
We haven’t seen her since & can only assume she’s camped outside Sam’s Airbnb hoping for some more hang time. Carrie’s honoured to be able to share with you the journey Sam’s been on recently. pic.twitter.com/Yu4GH1mFqk
— The Project (@theprojecttv) February 28, 2020