Sam Smith has come out as non-binary - here's what that means

Sam Smith has come out as non-binary - here's what that means

Singer Sam Smith has revealed details about their gender identity during a candid interview with actress Jameela Jamil.

Speaking to Jamil, the Oscar-winning singer said:

I've always had a little bit of a war going within my body and my mind.

I do think like a woman sometimes, in my head. Sometimes I've questioned 'Do I want a sex change?'

It's something I still think about, like, 'Do I want to?'

The singer said that listening to conversations about being non-binary had helped to discover new things about their gender identity.

I'm not male or female, I think I flow somewhere in between. It's all on the spectrum.

So what does it mean to be non-binary?

Many non-binary people reject the “binary” of male and female. In other words, they exist on a fluid spectrum between male and female. Some non-binary people may identify as neither male nor female permanently, while others may fluctuate between male and female over different periods of their lives.

Non-binary essentially an umbrella term for those who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. Because of this, many non-binary people consider themselves part of the trans community.

Many non-binary people also use the pronouns “they” or “them” instead of he or she, but others are comfortable with “he” or “she”. It is unclear which pronouns Smith will use after coming out as non-binary. Just because someone has a name that most people would perceive as "male" or "female" doesn't necessarily mean they'll use corresponding pronouns.

What should you do if you're not sure which pronouns someone uses?

Non-binary activist Jamie Windust tells indy100:

Pronouns are incredibly important to non-binary people, however they’re also so easy to use. Many non-binary people would rather you ask us in an informed and safe manner than just presume, as they’re unique to each person.

A campaign by Windust seeks to give non-binary people legal recognition within the law. At the moment, UK passports are only available in either male or female.

On the need for extended gender recognition options, Windust tells indy100:

The petition was started as a direct result of real life challenges that non-binary people like myself face in the institutions we exist in. Although it won’t secure social acceptance, it’s time the UK government listened to its most marginalised groups and made our lives more accessible.

Other well-known non-binary people are performer Travis Alabanza and chef Jack Munroe.

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