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It is no secret that Sam Smith has come out as non-binary, much to the ire of many internet bigots and morning TV presenters (I am looking at you Piers Morgan). The hatred and trolling that has been continuously fired at Smith since their coming-out is vast in both its volume and its range of creativity. Many refuse to accept the artist’s identity based on the opinion that their appearance and voice is too ‘masculine’, so sorry to all baritones but you are all officially men.
How so many people fail to grasp the concept of someone wanting to feel happy and comfortable in their skin just because they disagree or misunderstand is even more baffling. To help clear up this confusion, Merriam-Webster has ever so kindly added ‘they’ to their dictionary as a gender-neutral pronoun. It has been put in place to help transphobes understand that their inability to understand is not a valid excuse for bullying people.
Despite all of the onslaught that Smith has faced, the high-profile nature of their coming-out has set the wheels in motion for a long-awaited change in the music industry: gender-neutral award categories. The Brit Awards have announced that in the 2021 awards season they will be introducing the category Best Solo Artist. The announcement has ensued objection from many people, who seem to be forgetting that Best Pop Group, Best Newcomer and Best Album are all gender-neutral categories.
Sam Smith is not the first artist to come out as non-binary and is unlikely to be the last. Instead of spending your time sending hurtful messages online, take the time to educate yourself and help make the world a better place.