Sam Smith Announces He’s Non-Binary, Changes Personal Pronouns from ‘He/Him’ to ‘They/Them’

Sam Smith, Lollapalooza 2015. Photo: Pitpony Photography (CC by SA 3.0)
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Sam Smith, Lollapalooza 2015. Photo: Pitpony Photography (CC by SA 3.0)
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photo: Pitpony Photography (CC by SA 3.0)

Award-winning singer and songwriter Sam Smith recently announced a change in personal gender pronouns, requesting to be identified by the non-binary “they/them.”

The 27-year-old made and explained the announcement with a series of six tweets.

Smith expressed excitement with the pronoun change’s reception, in addition to noting that the switch took longer than expected because Smith cares “too much about what people think.” The third tweet relayed Smith’s understanding “that there will be many mistakes and mis gendering” [sic], while the fourth tweet indicated that Smith is “at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non binary” [sic].

The fifth tweet thanked a number of “activists and leaders of the non binary/trans community” [sic] for providing Sam Smith “with so much clarity and understanding.”

The sixth and final tweet relating to the announcement read, “Love you all. I’m scared shitless, but feeling super free right now. Be kind x.”

Smith’s Twitter biography was updated to, “They/Them.”

At the time of writing, Smith’s initial announcement tweet had been retweeted nearly 50,000 times and had been liked more than 300,000 times.

Smith’s debut album, In the Lonely Hour, was released in 2014 and went on to achieve major commercial success. Smith won multiple Grammys in 2015 and dropped a second studio album, The Thrill of It All, in 2017. In January of this year, Sam Smith released “Dancing with a Stranger,” a single from an untitled upcoming album. A second single, “How Do You Sleep?”, followed in July.

Smith came out as gay in 2014 and as genderqueer in 2017.  Having participated in many interviews and discussions pertaining to gender and sexuality, Smith is seen by some as a figurehead of the non-binary community.

Besides discussing matters of sexuality and making popular music, Smith has been featured in the news for refusing to license certain works to Spotify.

23 Responses

  1. Punchy

    Your headline misgenders Sam! That is a huge and easily fixable mistake.

  2. Joey

    *Announces they’re non-binary. They’re non-binary.

    If you gonna attempt to be crass about it, don’ try to use the pronouns. They/them can easily be used correctly.

  3. Deirdre Chadwick

    Besides the glaring error in the headline, why did the writer intentionally avoid using they/them throughout the article, eschewing Smith’s preferred pronouns in favor of doggedly repeating their given name(s)? Are you trying to make it all seem strange and artificial, as if it’s an imposition on you? How about presenting the they/them pronouns as the totally easy and doable default. Very disappointing.

  4. Sam Smith has a penis

    So HE is a guy.

    Furthermore — “They/Them” is grammatically incorrect because it makes a single person (HE) into a plural (which means more than one person).

    Bullshit like this is Trump is going to easily win in 2020

  5. Sam Smith has a penis


    Bullshit like this is WHY Trump is going to easily win in 2020

  6. Realist

    Bullshit !! Sam Smith. You are fucking confused. You have a Penis between your legs…unless u have more than one down there. Stop corrupting n confusing our young children. Get it strait u are a fucking man hence u will be regarded as he or him. If u need a pronoun to satisfy ur disgusting life use Sh’im

  7. yikes

    if you’re not going to fix how you strangely (and glaringly!) avoid sam’s pronouns in the article, at least change the “he’s” in the title to “they’re” … it’s not that hard. i have no doubt that as a journalist, you saw AP’s mistake and the backlash there.
    and to anyone making a shitshow of themselves in the comments: “they/them” singular is grammatically correct. it’s use can be dated back since Shakespeare’s days. stop trying so hard to find excuses to be transphobic.

  8. BAC

    I don’t give a fuck if he’s gay or queer or whatever.

    But I draw the line when prima drama queens start dictating the language they want everybody in the media to use to address them, and especially when their mentally ill fans get all Nazi-like about it to the rest of the world. FUCK OFF.

    You can’t expect us to keep all that shit straight. We’re not gonna. Quit doing all that cocaine and acting crazy. People are going to stop being on your side if you keep pushing that stupid bullshit.

  9. tired of these transtrenders wearing enby as a fashion statement

    *says he’s non-binary*

    *continues to present as a male*


  10. Anonymous

    Homosexuality is a mental disorder and Sam Smith is a living proof of that.