Sam Smith Says They 'Feel Completely Seen' When Their Pronouns Are Used Correctly by Others

The singer came out as non-binary last year and goes by "they/them" as preferred pronouns

Sam Smith is still getting used to their new pronouns.

The “How Do You Sleep?” singer, 27, sat down with Australian outlet The Project, opening up about the adjustment they’ve faced since coming out as non-binary — even occasionally fumbling their preferred pronouns personally.

“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 added that their mom gets upset with herself when she sometimes misuses their pronouns, but that they assure her that it takes time to unlearn societal norms that are ingrained in people’s vocabularies.

“It’s like, it’s okay but it is important, you know?” said Smith. “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.”

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 Zane Lowe last month, 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.”

Smith added that it can be “very difficult” for people to adapt to inclusive pronouns — “It takes time,” they said — and the singer has already come to terms with the fact that not everyone will get on board in their lifetime.

“Everyone messes up; I’m going to be misgendered to the day I die,” they said. “This is going to take a long, long time for people to not use gender in their vocabulary.”

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

Sam Smith
Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

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 misgendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.”

Sam Smith’s new album To Die For will be available wherever you stream music on May 1.

Related Articles