Queer Icon – Sam Smith

A successful musician today, Sam Smith is an inspiration to the gay and non-binary community. Enduring the psychological trauma that comes with coming out, they have spoken about their experience with prejudices and discrimination many times on entertainment media. In an interview with Ellen on the Ellen show, Smith claims how they came out to their parents when they were just 4. In another interview with Jameela Jamil, Smith opens up about how they came out to their peers when they were only 10. Their experience felt more personal when they further said “I was the only gay”. Often we find ourselves in a similar position- where we find ourselves being the only queer amongst cis. 

Recounting their school days, they remember how at the age of 16 they stopped wearing boys’ clothes and would go to school wearing “leggings, fur, and full make-up”.  However, when they moved to London, they resumed wearing jeans and shirt or suits as it was their “armor” against the aggressive city. They tell Jamil “Moving to London at 18 and having sex with men is not a kind experience, it was very very aggressive” Smith thus faced challenges through and through their life and their personal decisions or sometimes inability to continue as unwavering is what makes them more unique to their audience. I felt connected to their story as I could sense a feeling of ongoing discovery in their speech. They were open to sharing how first sexual encounters can be like and how difficult it can be to find love. 

They are simply not just a “gay icon” for sharing their journey with society’s reaction to homosexuality but also for opening about other issues that concern almost everyone. They spoke about their body image issues and dealing with having breasts on a candid show “I weigh Interviews”.  They further elaborated on their experience with body dysmorphic disorder and body image issues.

“Something I’m not even sure on myself, I recently was looking and finding stories about people who would come out as genderqueer and non-binary and I’ve always had a war within my body and mind” Smith also opened up about being non-binary genderqueer to their audience as they do not feel like they belong to a specific gender. They further answer what non-binary is to them by saying “You are a mixture of all different things. You’re your special creation. I am not male or female, I think I float somewhere in between.

Smith feels open about their sexuality and wanted to translate that to their gender as well by choosing to be non-binary. They represent not only the gay community but also the proud yellow, white, purple, black flag of non-binary. Their recent discovery about their gender serves as a testament to us all as to how there is no limit to discovering oneself. Sexuality and gender are an ongoing discovery and people can choose to be whoever they want to be and settle in whatever rhythm feels comfortable to them.

Smith thus is a queer icon for being the imperfect, bold, and carefree individual that inspires people to explore and make mistakes before realizing their true potential.