Sam Smith: We are all learning together when it comes to pronouns

The chart-topping singer made an appearance on Apple Music 1.
The chart-topping singer made an appearance on Apple Music 1.

Sam Smith has said we are “all learning together” when it comes to using people’s preferred pronouns.

The pop singer, 30, who identifies as non-binary and uses the pronouns they/them, said even they sometimes got people’s pronouns wrong.

They added that people should be praised, not criticised, for correcting their “mistakes” in public.

Speaking to Zane Lowe in the studio on Apple Music 1, Smith said: “I just want to create a safe space for everyone. But also we’re all learning together.

“The pronoun thing is interesting, because mistakes happen. Even me, I make mistakes quite a lot, and it’s an uncomfortable feeling making a mistake.

“Because I’m now working, doing this a lot in terms of people changing their language, editing yourself is great, but I think it’s really good for people to see you mess up…and then correct yourself.

“Because that’s what we’ve got to get used to, because changes in language, they take time to change.

“We need to lean into the uncomfortable feeling of being wrong sometimes, because it’s okay. We’re all in it together.”

Smith – whose tracks include Stay With Me, Too Good At Goodbyes and Unholy – referenced the words of trans actress and activist Laverne Cox, who rose to fame playing Sophia Burset on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.

They said: “Famously, the incredible Laverne Cox said that to so many people this is a culture war.

“But it’s not a culture war. This is life and death for people, and I think that we all just need to remember that.

“But my job is just to spread the love with it. If I lived a life where I was just getting upset every time someone used the wrong pronoun, I would be very sad, and I’m done with being sad.”