Sam Smith on coming out as non-binary: 'People don’t understand'

'Some days I've got my manly side and some days I've got my womanly side' 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 01 May 2019 16:19
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Sam Smith reveals he identifies as non-binary and genderqueer

Sam Smith has opened up about coming out as non-binary, and what the experience has meant in terms of his self-acceptance and understanding of his own gender identity.

In an interview for the June issue of British GQ, the singer-songwriter revealed that, until recently, he was aware he felt somewhere in the “middle” but was not sure how to explain it.

“Ever since I was a little boy, ever since I was a little human, I didn’t feel comfortable being a man really. I never really did. Some days I’ve got my manly side and some days I’ve got my womanly side, but it’s when I’m in the middle of that switch that I get really, really depressed and sad,” Smith said. “Because I don’t know who I am or where I am or what I’m doing, and I feel very misunderstood by myself.

“I realised that’s because I don’t fit into either.”

Despite embracing his gender identity earlier this year, the Dancing With A Stranger singer said he is still afraid of the responses he may receive from those who do not understand.

“I’m also very scared, because I’ve lived my life as a minority and now it makes me scared because I’m trying to explain it to people around me and they don’t understand,” he said.

Sam Smith opens up about coming out as non-binary (Louie Banks/GQ)

But, according to Smith, who identifies with male pronouns, when he came out as non-binary in the LGBTQ+ community, he learned it “isn’t a new conversation and it’s been around for so long”.

The 26-year-old also discussed his first sexual experiences in the gay community during the interview, which he said “weren’t the greatest”.

Smith said he felt 'very misunderstood' (Louie Banks/GQ)

“It was quite violent and scary at times,” the Grammy-winning singer admitted, before describing the shock he felt as a genderqueer man moving from a “tiny village in the middle of nowhere” to London.

According to Smith, the “traumatic” experiences may have stunted his ability to believe in love at times.

“I didn’t realise how awful they were until I started therapy and started to uproot some of that stuff,” he said.

Smith first came out as non-binary/genderqueer during an interview with Jameela Jamil for the actress’s “I Weigh” interview series.

At the time, the singer said: “I’m not male or female, I think I float somewhere in between. It’s all on a spectrum. I think the same with sexuality.”

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