Sam Smith talks about facing transphobia in England
Sam Smith talks about his life as a trans and non-binary person in England.
Smith, whose song with Kim Petras “Unholy” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 a few months ago and his album Gloria is out tomorrow, and sat down with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 for an interview that included themes from their music, new album, being invited to the White House by President Biden, and performing on Saturday Night Liveand go on tour. They also talked about what it’s like to be a visible non-binary person in a transphobic country.
Smith said that while their personal lives are much better than they were before their appearance, the audience’s reaction wasn’t so easy.
My family, they can communicate with me. They have always done that. But they communicate with me now in a better way. My love for my life became better than her. I feel love. I feel comfortable in my own skin, but I wear what I want to wear,” they said of the positive changes in their lives. “Since I changed my pronouns, it has felt like home.”
Unfortunately, people who didn’t know Smith reacted pretty much the opposite in their home country.
“I think all the only negatives in the struggle have been in my public life and work,” said Smith. “And just the amount of hate and rancor that came my way was exhausting. And it was really hard and it wasn’t, this isn’t me sitting at home googling my name… it was in the sensational news.”
“It was hard not looking. But for me, I can deal with not Googling myself, not reading comments. That’s something I can control.” “What people with trans and non-binary people in the UK don’t realize is that it’s happening on the street.”
They even detailed some of the street harassment they experienced personally. They said, “I am being verbally abused on the street more than ever.” “So that was the hardest part, I think, being at home in the UK and having people yell at me in the street. Someone spat on me in the street.”
Smith says they can’t even imagine how hard it is for trans and non-binary people who aren’t privileged.
“What I find difficult is if this happens to me and I’m famous, I’m a pop star, can you imagine what other kids feel like, like gay kids?” Smith said. “It is very sad that we are in 2023 and it is still happening. It is stressful especially in England.”
In the interview, Smith also said that they would like to learn about non-binary and trans identities when they were in school, because they definitely would have identified as such when they were younger.
To find out what else Smith had to say about the music, life, transformation, and what’s to come, watch the entire interview below.
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