Just last year, musical artist Sam Smith announced that they would be identifying from that point on as gender non-binary and would use the neutral pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’.
It was a moment for Smith where they finally felt at peace after a lifetime of conflict between what they were naturally born as and who they felt they were on the inside. But without the weight of the internal struggle, Smith has been able to speak about the experience and how it has affected them. Just recently, they sat down with Zane Lowe on New Music Daily to talk about the matter.
Back last year when Smith announced they were gender non-binary, they posted to Instagram to share the update. “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out,” they said.
And while Smith has been able to accept themselves, the bigger issue to them is getting other people to adjust to the proper use of neutral pronouns, which Smith describes as very difficult in nature to do.
Speaking on the difficulty people are having with addressing them by the correct pronoun, they said, “What’s hard is people changing their vocabulary. That’s very, very difficult.”
They don’t fault anyone, as the use of non-binary terminology is a relatively new construct in society. “It takes time. Everyone messes up. I’m going to be misgendered to the day I die. This is going to take a long, long time for people to not use gender in their vocabulary,” Smith explained to Lowe.
— Aaron Fernandes (@AaronRFernandes) February 15, 2020
No matter what people are able to learn or how it takes them to adjust to the new social constructs for people that identify as non-binary, Smith feels happier than they ever have, especially being able to live with authenticity.
“This is all about feeling safe, and it makes me feel happy and it makes me feel comfortable,” they revealed. “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.
Whether or not it’s difficult for people to adjust to changing pronoun usage, that’s up for debate. In fact, there has been quite the back and forth on the subject on social media since the interview.
One user on Twitter chimed in to say that they really didn’t believe it was hard to switch he or she to they or them. “I really don’t think it’s much to ask for people to use #SamSmith
’s correct pronouns. They/them instead of he/him really doesn’t take much effort ?
#grahamnortonshow #nonbinary,” they said.
Another user, though, thought the idea of using a plural pronoun was absurd. “When he looks like a ‘They’ and grows another head I’ll gladly call him they. He don’t look like Doctor Manhattan to me funnily enough,” the social media user shared.
— Sam Wise 💙🏳️🌈 (@SamWiseLGBT) February 15, 2020