Sam Smith has come out as non-binary, identifying neither as male nor female. The “Stay With Me Singer” sat down with The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil on her new Instagram series I Weigh Interviews. The interview discussed Sam Smith’s struggle with body image since a young age, but the singer also revealed that they are not male or female.
“I think I float somewhere in between,” Smith said. “I do think like a woman sometimes in my head. I even sit there and question, ‘Do I want a sex change?’ And it’s something I still think about.”
Smith opened up to Jamil about his lifelong struggle with body image, noting that the interview was his first time speaking about his struggles.
“My whole life I’ve struggled with my body and my relationship with it,” Smith said. The singer discussed the difficulty of opening up about body image, because he sees the conversation as taboo with men.
“I haven’t really found many men talking about this, especially no well known men,” he said. Smith blames the lack of discussion around male body positivity on toxic masculinity, or the fact that society discourages men from being emotional or interested in things that are usually seen as feminine.
“It doesn’t feel ‘manly’ to talk about how I feel in my body,” Smith said. “But that’s what I’m trying to fight against.”
Later, Smith discussed going to the doctor at age 12 to undergo liposuction surgery on his chest.
“I was so self-conscious that it was affecting my mood every day and my life as a teenager,” said Smith.
Even after the surgery, Smith continued to struggle with body image issues and faced bullying in school. Smith was bullied until he was about 16, but still struggled as the only openly gay person in his town.
“It was a really lonely feeling.” When Smith was still in High School, he stopped wearing traditional boys clothing and began wearing makeup, leggings, and fur. Smith thanks Lady Gaga and her following for inspiring him to express himself through non-traditional style. He also said therapy helped him open up about these issues and gave him the strength to talk about it publicly.
“I started therapy a year ago, which is why I’m doing this,” said Smith. “I do want to help other people, but I think you can only do that by helping yourself first. I really just want to speak out about weight and body image issues within men… I struggle with it every day.”
Though those identifying as gender non-conforming often times prefer to be addressed with the pronouns “they” and “them,” Sam Smith noted he wishes to continue to use the pronouns “he” and “him.”
“Non-binary or gender queer is you do not identify in a gender. You are just you. You are a mixture of all different things. You are your own special creation,” said Smith. “I’m feminine in many many ways. I’ve always resented that… Maybe I’m not a man, maybe I’m not a woman, but maybe that’s okay.”
Watch Jameela Jamil’s full interview with Sam Smith on Instagram.