Sam Smith has opened up about their experiences with transphobia in the UK, admitting that they face more instances of public abuse abroad than at home.
To celebrate the release of their fourth album, Gloria Smith sat down with Zane Lowe from Apple Music for an exhaustive interview. During the interview, the pair delved deep into topics like mental health, as well as their recent trip to the White House for a Saturday Night Live appearance, and the addition of the album itself to their touring circuit.
In 2019, they publicly identified as non-binary (and changed their pronouns to they/them/theirs), and subsequently revealed themselves as genderqueer in an interview with The Sunday Times in 2017, where the vocalist initially discussed their transgender identity. During the conversation, Lowe inquired about Smith’s emotions following their disclosure.
“I choose to dress in whatever attire I desire. I experience a sense of ease and confidence in my own body. I feel cherished and deserving of love. As a result, my romantic relationships have significantly improved. They now engage in more effective and meaningful communication with me. Although they have always done so, my family now actively communicates with me. My personal life lacks any form of negativity. Essentially, I have two distinct aspects: my personal life and my public life.”
Smith went on to say that they would identify openly as non-binary in school because they wish they knew what the words meant when they were in school, nodding to their history of gender dysphoria. They described coming out as a “homecoming” and ultimately felt an “abundance of joy” as an openly non-binary person.
It was really challenging the way my job and life in public have been filled with a great amount of exhaustion, shittiness, and hate. Smith, an openly transgender person, expressed, “I can only think of the struggles and negatives in my public eye, touching upon the downsides. It was really hard.”
It is difficult for me to deal with negative comments and avoid Googling myself, but I can’t control something. Smith joked, “It was fucking news in the comments,” indicating that it was difficult not to look at negative comments. Lowe and Smith found common ground in the fact that it is nearly impossible to avoid being hated as a famous person.
People yelling at me in the street was a challenging aspect, particularly when I was in the UK. I felt more mistreated in the street than ever before, experiencing verbal abuse from trans non-binary individuals. Many fail to comprehend that these incidents occur in public spaces.
Smith continued to point out that if I’m a famous pop star and I’m happening to be me, which is sad and exhausting on a regular basis, it’s still happening in 2023. Imagine what other queer kids are feeling when they face the larger issue of systemic transphobia by people in the UK.
Smith, according to, admitted that in England, the problem is especially prevalent, while in cities like Los Angeles and New York, I can feel more like myself and dress the way I like without appearing cisgender and that people are far more accepting.
Smith remarked, “It’s an extraordinary sensation,” because America is a multifaceted location. And with Biden taking a firm stance and expressing these ideas – discussing transgender individuals and his perception of them – he perceives us. I visited the White House recently. I haven’t encountered such sentiments in my homeland.