Sam Smith credited Lady Gaga with allowing them to come to terms with their gender. The Stay With Me hitmaker, which came out as non-binary last year and uses they/them pronouns, opened up in a new video about their gender identity and expression – and the part that Gaga’s 2008 album The Fame. “Gaga is probably why I came to terms with my gender,’ Sam explained. ‘I was 15 when The Fame came out, and I was obsessed with Lady Gaga, and for me, she gave me full permission to be myself and take pride in my queerness.
‘It was a form of expression, but also, oddly, a form of protection. It was a way of almost saying to homophobes and bullies: “Stay a little away from me because I am confident and powerful in my homosexuality.” Even though it’s been a year since Sam, 28, came out, they recently admitted it’s still a tough battle to convince people that they are openly gender-neutral.
They told Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show, “I’ve always felt the way I felt. When I changed my pronouns, things got complicated for sure. It took time. ‘My family, they all got it like that, and it wasn’t a problem. I’ve learned that people don’t like to be wrong, and when people get a pronoun wrong or something, they don’t like it. ‘It kind of ruins conversations, it ruins moments. It’s really difficult.
So I just had to get in on myself and try to deal with it in a real kind way and just know everyone’s working on this. It’s going to take time. We’re changing a language here.’ Sam, who is about to release their highly anticipated new album, went on to say they want to eventually become a ‘mummy’ – but they put off parenting until they’re about 35.
‘I’m definitely going to do that one day, but I still have more in me,” they explained. “I am ambitious, and I would always like to sing for people and do this job. It’s an amazing feeling.’
Elsewhere in the Vogue video, Sam also discussed how makeup had become an essential part of their journey as non-binary artists.
They said, “It doesn’t matter your gender, makeup is a form of expression, and it feels nice. For me, makeup has become more of a way to express my gender.
‘Last year, when I changed my pronouns and spoke out about my gender expression and my gender fluidity, I started falling in love with makeup all over again.’
Last September, the Too Good At Goodbyes revealed he was not binary when he said he decided to “embrace” his gender identity after ‘spending a lifetime at war’ with themselves.
Sam posted on social media at the time: ‘Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM.
“After a life of war with my gender, I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out… (sic)’
“I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision, but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but fit,” they continued.
Smith added, “I understand there will be a lot of mistakes and sex faults, but all I’m asking is you, please try. I hope you can see me as I see myself now. Thank you.”
Earlier this month, Smith also explained how their body dysmorphism helped them come to terms with their gender identity.
In a conversation with The Sunday Times, they talked about their pronouns and how they have learned to accept their bodies.
“For me, what triggered everything was the work I was doing with my body issues,” Smith said. “I always had body dysmorphia. As I started to address that, I started to address my gender and realized that I was holding myself to these ideals of how a man should look.”
“As I looked into it, I did therapy, I realized there was more to it,” they continued. “I have girl’s thighs, and I have girl breasts too. It started to awaken this conversation that had always been in the back of my mind.”