Singer Sam Smith has announced that they will now be using “they/them” gender pronouns.

Taking to Twitter, the singer said:

The change comes six months after Smith shared details about their non-binary 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 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 is 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, which include trans women and men, who define as the binary gender that is different from their birth.

Why are pronouns important?

Like Smith, many non-binary people also use the pronouns “they” or “them” instead of he or she. Though some are comfortable with “he” or “she”. Just because someone has a name that most people would perceive as "male" or "female", it doesn't necessarily mean they'll use corresponding pronouns. Likewise, it’s best to avoid assuming someone’s pronouns based on looks.

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

Non-binary activist Jamie Windust told 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.

Other well-known non-binary people are performer Travis Alabanza and chef Jack Munroe. Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness also came out as non-binary this year.

Smith shouted out some trans and non-binary friends and role models who helped them take the plunge and change pronouns.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)