Sam Smith on the Challenges of Changing Pronouns: 'I'm Going to Be Misgendered Until the Day I Die'

"It takes time. Everyone messes up," said Sam Smith of people adjusting to using preferred pronouns

Sam Smith understands it may take time for people to adjust to using their preferred pronouns — but they’ll wait patiently.

On Friday, to launch their new single “To Die For” from their upcoming album of the same name, Smith, 27, sat down with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s New Music Daily on Beats 1 to discuss their gender-neutral pronouns and hopes for a more inclusive society.

“What’s hard is people changing their vocabulary; that’s very, very difficult,” said Smith. “It takes time. Everyone messes up. I’m going to be misgendered to the day I die.”

They added: “This is going to take a long, long time for people to not use gender in their vocabulary.”

In September, the Grammy winner, who had come out as non-binary months prior, told fans and the rest of the world that “they/them” were their preferred pronouns, rather than “he/him.” The decision, Smith told Lowe, is so that they can feel more “comfortable” in everyday life.

“This is all about feeling safe, and it makes me feel happy and it makes me feel comfortable,” the singer said. “And if I get to live a life where I’m a little bit more comfortable and happy, then I think it’s worth it.”

Sam Smith and Zane Lowe
Sam Smith. Courtesy Apple Music

At the time, Smith announced the pronoun change on Instagram, writing that after “a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”

“I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision,” they wrote in the caption, “but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f— it!”

They added: “I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.”

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Sam Smith and Zane Lowe

With the new album — their third — Smith said that they reached a new level of self-acceptance and emotional freedom when creating it.

“I‘m more proud of this album than anything I’ve ever done,” the artist tweeted on Thursday. “I’ve really set myself free the last two years whilst writing this & I hope you can dance and relate to these stories. It’s all for you, always xx.”

To Die For will be available wherever you stream music on May 1.

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