Sam Smith is opening up about their life as a trans and nonbinary person in England.
Smith, whose song with Kim Petras “Unholy” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 a few months ago and whose album Gloria comes out tomorrow, sat down with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 for an interview that spanned topics from their music, the new album, being invited to the White House by President Biden, performing on Saturday Night Live, and going on tour. They also talked about what it’s like being a visible nonbinary person in a country where transphobia has been running rampant.
Smith said that while their personal life is much better than it ever was before they came out, the public reaction hasn’t been as easy.
“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,” they said about the positive changes in their life. “Since changing my pronouns, it felt like a coming home.”
Unfortunately, the reaction from people who don’t know Smith has been largely the opposite in their home country.
“I think all the only negatives in the struggle have been in my public life and my job,” Smith said. “And just the amount of hate and sh*tiness 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... It was in the f***ing news.”
“It was hard not to look. But for me, I can deal with not Googling myself, not reading comments. That's something I can control,” they continued. “What people don't realize with trans non-binary people in the UK is it's happening in the street.”
They even detailed some of the street harassment they’ve personally faced. “I'm being abused in the street verbally more than I ever have,” they said. “So that was the hardest part, I think, was being at home in the UK and having people shouting at me in the street. Someone spat at me in the street.”
Smith says that they can’t even imagine how hard it must be on trans and nonbinary people who don’t have their privilege.
“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 said. “And it's just so sad that we're in 2023 and it's still happening. It's exhausting and especially in England.”
In the interview, Smith also said that they wished they knew about nonbinary and trans identities when they were in school, because they definitely would’ve identified that way when they were younger.
To see what else Smith had to say about music, life, being trans, and what’s coming up, watch the entire interview below.
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