LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Grammy Award-winner Sam Smith posted on social media Friday asking that people use the pronouns ‘they’ and ‘them’ when referring to the 27-year-old singer.
“I understand there will be many mistakes and misgendering, but all I ask is you please please try,” the singer wrote. “I hope you can see me like I see myself now.”
Smith, who announced back in March that they identify as genderqueer and non-binary, said they made the decision after “a lifetime of being at war” with their gender.
The announcement was met with thousands of supportive comments. Smith expressed excitement and privilege for the supporting, admitting to feeling “very nervous” about the announcement but deciding to go for it anyway.
There were detractors, too, who wondered about Smith’s need to declare pronouns, an increasingly common practice within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.
According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, the terms non-binary and genderqueer are used by people who do not feel that their gender fits into the binary of male or female.
“Non-binary people aren’t confused about their gender identity or following a new fad,” the nonprofit said on its website. “Non-binary identities have been recognized for millennia by cultures and societies around the world.”
The organization, which advocates for the fair and equal treatment of transgender people, further said that calling those who identify as non-binary by the name and pronouns they prefer is “one of the most critical aspects of being respectful.”
Smith won an Oscar in 2016 for “Writing’s on the Wall,” from “Spectre” and has multiple Grammy Awards.
See the full Instagram post below:
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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
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