Sam Smith has seen massive success both nationally and internationally over the past ten years of their career. Most recently, with the release of their single “Unholy,” Smith became the first publicly non-binary solo artist with a No. 1 song.
But with success comes more visibility — visibility invites unwarranted attacks from trolls. Despite using their platform to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community for causes such as the marriage act, Smith revealed during a recent interview with Apple Music that the nasty comments have only gotten worse in recent times.
During the sit down with Zane Lowe, Smith shared that since publicly expressing their non-binary identity, they’ve been met with hateful remarks.
When asked by Lowe if they had experienced negativity since coming out of non-binary, Smith responded, “In my personal life, there’s not one negative. Since changing my pronouns, it felt like a coming home [party],” even joking, “I wish I knew what the words were when I was in school.”
On the other hand, their public life is another story. “What people don’t realize with trans and non-binary people in the UK is it’s happening in the street. I’m being abused in the street verbally more than I ever have,” said Smith adding, “That was the hardest part, I think, was being at home in the UK and having people shouting at me in the street. Someone spat at me in the street. It’s crazy.”
Smith wants to emphasize that even as a beloved public figure, they’ve been met with physical harm so just imagine how this bigotry has effected less known people in these identities. “What I find hard about it is it’s like, if that’s happening to me and I’m famous, I’m a pop star, can you imagine what other queer kids are feeling,” the singer asked, before closing with, “And it’s just so sad that we’re in 2023 and it’s still happening. It’s exhausting.”
Watch the full interview above.