Sam Smith now identifies with they/them pronouns, the singer announced on Instagram on Friday (September 13).
“I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM,” they wrote in the post. “After a lifetime of being at way 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, but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think… I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.”
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Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ❤ 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 but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but fuck it! 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. P.s. I am at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non binary but I can’t wait for the day that I am. So for now I just want to be VISIBLE and open. If you have questions and are wondering what this all means I’ll try my best to explain but I have also tagged below the human beings who are fighting the good fight everyday. These are activists and leaders of the non binary/trans community that have helped me and given me so much clarity and understanding. @tomglitter @munroebergdorf @transnormativity @alokvmenon @katemoross @glamrou @travisalabanza @twyrent @chellaman @jvn @lavernecox @stonewalluk @glaad @humanrightscampaign @mermaidsgender Love you all. I’m scared shitless, but feeling super free right now. Be kind x
Smith came out as non-binary and genderqueer in March of this year, but said they’d still accept he/him pronouns. The Sun also reported on Friday that Smith’s friends and family have already been referring to Smith as they/them but continued to use he/him pronouns in the story, which may have prompted their decision to publicly and explicitly come out.
Despite the explicit announcement, media outlets are still misgendering Smith. The Associated Press covered their coming out announcement but continued to use he/him pronouns when referring to the non-binary singer.
In the wake of Sam Smith saying they use they/them pronouns, here’s a thread of how to cover non-binary folks (with examples).
— NLGJA at UT 🏳️🌈 (@nlgja_at_ut) September 13, 2019
— Jill (@LadyLantzALot) September 13, 2019
The outlet reportedly corrected the article after posting without clarification or apology, but instead of replacing he/him with they/them, they just removed the personal pronouns altogether.
Lol the @AP "fixed" their entire article about Sam Smith's pronouns by, you guessed it….. removing all the personal pronouns from the article rather than just using their correct pronouns. pic.twitter.com/UyeQMyO9aM
— Annie Kate (@Aklipscomb) September 14, 2019
Correctly using the preferred name and pronouns of transgender and non-binary people is important, as it has been linked to reduced depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts and behavior in youth.