Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Sam Smith has come out as gender nonbinary.
“I’m not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between,” Smith said Friday on actor Jameela Jamil’s new Instagram show, “I Weigh Interviews.”
Smith said when he saw the words "nonbinary" and "genderqueer" and heard people speak about these identities, which are used to describe those who identify as neither exclusively male nor female, he thought, "F--ck, that's me."
While many nonbinary and gender-nonconforming individuals prefer to use the gender-neutral pronouns “they” and “them,” several news reports claim Smith still prefers male pronouns, like “he” and “him."
While this is the first time Smith has explicitly identified as nonbinary, the performer has previously talked about his gender identity lacking a label. In an October 2017 interview with The Sunday Times, Smith said, "I don't know what the title would be, but I feel just as much woman as I am man."
In his conversation with Jamil, Smith said he came out as gay when he was 10 and stopped wearing male clothing when he was 16, adding that he would wear fur and makeup to school.
“I've always been very free in terms of thinking about my sexuality, so I've just tried to change that into my thoughts on gender as well,” he explained.
During his "I Weigh Interviews" appearance, Smith also discussed his ongoing body-image struggles. Though he said he's achieved greater self-acceptance over the years, he said he has “always had a war between my body and my mind.” He revealed that he had liposuction when he was 12 after a doctor discovered he was developing breasts because his body was storing high levels of estrogen in his chest.
Lee Airton, an assistant professor of gender and sexuality studies at Queen’s University and author of the book “Gender: Your Guide,” told NBC News that it’s “wonderful that folks in the public life can come out as they are.” However, Airton stressed that nonbinary people have always existed.
“There are nonbinary people in all walks of life, in every position you can think of,” Airton said. “People might feel being nonbinary is a new thing, but it’s a re-emergence.”
Smith is not the only celebrity to identity as nonbinary. "Billions" star Asia Kate Dillon, "Transparent" creator Jill Soloway and "RuPaul's Drag Race" contestant Valentina also identify as nonbinary.
A growing number of states across the U.S. now legally recognize nonbinary gender identities on official documentation. At least eight states and Washington, D.C., offer a gender-neutral option on driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards, while at least five permit gender-neutral birth certificates.