Singer Sam Smith wants to be referred to as ‘they’ not ‘he’

Sam Smith would reportedly like to be referred to as 'they' or 'them' [Photo: Getty]

Sam Smith reportedly wants to be referred to as 'they' instead of 'he', six months after coming out as non-binary.

According to The Sun, Smith has reportedly requested friends and family use they/them pronouns instead of he/him when referring to the singer.

By way of illustration of the star's preference, the singer thanked Hits Radio presenter James Barr for referring to the star as 'they' on Twitter.

"Just interviewed @samsmith and they sounded so happy and free and more themselves than ever," Barr tweeted. "It's made me feel like the world is a good place again."

Smith replied: "You're one of the first people to use these pronouns with me. Thank you. That feels really beautiful."

LGBT charity Mermaids were among the tweets praising Smith for opening up about his gender identity and language preferences.

Others, however, seemed a little confused by the pronoun request.

Earlier this year Smith revealed they now identify as non-binary saying they feel "like a woman sometimes" and has considered having a sex change.

During an interview with Jameela Jamil on Instagram TV, the British singer spoke about listening to conversations about being non-binary and realising that is how they identify.

"When I saw the word 'non-binary', 'genderqueer', and I read into it, and I heard these people speaking I was like, 'F***, that is me'," they told the presenter.

"I'm not male or female, I think I flow somewhere in between. It's all on the spectrum," they continued.

Smith had they always resented being "feminine in many ways" and describes being non-binary as being "your own special creation".

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Winnie Harlow and Sam Smith on stage at the Brit Awards 2019 at the O2 Arena, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION PHOTO. Picture date: Wednesday February 20, 2019. See PA story SHOWBIZ Brits. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
File photo dated 28/02/16 of Sam Smith (right) and Jimmy Napes with the Academy Awards for Best Original Song following the 88th Academy Awards. Smith has said he is finally trying to "embrace" his Oscar after years of hiding it away.
Sam Smith concert at Palacio de los deportes Mexico City, July 27 2018 (Photos by Liliana Ampudia Mendez/Sipa USA)
Sam Smith sighting with Fans in Mexico City, Mexico on July 26, 2018. (Photos by Liliana Ampudia Mendez/Sipa USA)
EDITORIAL USE ONLY Sam Smith performs in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Sam Smith performs during the first day of BBC Radio 1's Biggest Weekend at Singleton Park, Swansea.
Singer Sam Smith and event honoree Julie Andrews attend the 'Raise Your Voice' concert honoring Julie Andrews at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on March 5, 2018 in New York, NY. (Photo by Joe Russo / Sipa USA)
EDITORIAL USE ONLY. Sam Smith performs on stage at the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London.
Sam Smith attending the Brit Awards at the O2 Arena, London. Photo credit should read: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment
NEW YORK - JANUARY 28: Sam Smith at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Kirkland/PictureGroup)
(left to right) Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Graham Norton, Gwendoline Christie and Sam Smith during filming of the Graham Norton Show at The London Studios, to be aired on BBC One on Friday.
Sam Smith is interviewed backstage by presenter Roman Kemp during day one of Capital's Jingle Bell Ball 2017 at the O2 Arena, London.
Laverne Cox pictured with presenter Sam Smith backstage at the Attitude Awards, where she won won the Inspiration award, at the Roundhouse in North London. Picture date: Thursday October 12th, 2017. Photo credit should read: Matt Crossick/ EMPICS Entertainment.
Sam Smith outside BBC Broadcasting House in London, where he appeared on on The Radio 1 Breakfast Show with Nick Grimshaw.
Sam Smith (right) greets the Duchess of Cornwall during a reception for British Academy Awards winners at St James's Palace in London.
Sam Smith (right) and Jimmy Napes (left) with the Academy Awards for Best Original Song in the press room of the 88th Academy Awards held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA, February 28, 2016.
Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith in the Press Room at the 88th Academy Awards Ceremony held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on Sunday, February 28, 2016 (Photo By Sthanlee B. Mirador)
Feb 28, 2016; Hollywood, CA, USA; Sam Smith (right) and Jimmy Napes accept the Oscar for Best Original Song for �Writing�s On The Wall� from �Spectre� during the 88th annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY NETWORK
Sam Smith attending the Spectre after party held at the British Museum in London

The importance of language to non-binary people

Sam Smith described the term as being a "mixture of all different things", but being non-binary can mean different things to different people.

People who identify as non-binary may identify as a combination of different genders or as none at all, as the National Centre for Transgender Equality explains.

"People whose gender is not male or female use many different terms to describe themselves, with non-binary being one of the most common," it states.

Other terms include genderqueer, agender, bigender and more.

"Non binary is the term used by people who do not identify with traditionally binary (male or female) roles, instead they take a more fluid approach to their gender," explains Dr Helen Webberley who runs, a website providing healthcare, support and information for transgender, non-binary and gender questioning individuals and those who care for them.

"Sometimes a non binary person may feel more male, sometimes more female, or they may find themselves somewhere in the middle."

As indicated by Sam Smith's preference for the terms 'they' or 'them' Dr Webberley says language used can be important to some who identify as non-binary.

"A person's non binary status is often expressed in their choice of clothing and a preference for gender non specific language and lifestyle choices," she explains.

"Names and pronouns can cause difficulties as the use of 'he' or 'she' just doesn't feel right for the non binary person, equally, the often preferred pronouns of non binary people: 'they' and 'them', can feel strange for others to use when referring to an individual," she adds.

- This article first appeared on Yahoo
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