Sam Smith, 30, is opening up on what it was like to come out as non-binary. And while they admit plenty on the positive side, there are also some upsetting downsides. “What people don’t realize with trans non-binary people in the UK is it’s happening in the street. I‘m being abused in the street verbally more than I ever have,” they said in part during a recent interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. “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. It’s crazy.”
Sam went on to express concern that it’s even worse for youth who aren’t famous. “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?” they added. “And it’s just so sad that we’re in 2023 and it’s still happening. It’s exhausting and especially in England.”
Fortunately, though, the “Gloria” singer says their personal life has all but improved as a result of coming out as non-binary. “So we’ve got two sides, really,” they explained. “My personal life and then my public life. And in my personal life, there’s not one negative. My family, they can communicate with me. They always did. But they communicate with me now in an even better way.”
Even better, they confessed, their love has expanded and improved. “My love life has become better from it,” they remarked. “I feel lovable. I feel comfortable in my skin, but I wear what I want to wear. 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. Because it is who I am and it’s who I’ve always been.”
The negatives, they said, all have to do with rampant intolerance in public. “I think all the only negatives in the struggle have been in my public life and my job,” they said. “And just the amount of hate and sh****ness that came my way was just exhausting.”
They concluded that it was best to focus on what they can control amid hatred. “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****** news,” they concluded “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.”
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