Is Sam Smith Gay?

Is Sam Smith Gay?

By golddev: October 1, 2020

English singer and songwriter Sam Smith has a lot going on in their love life, read on to find out all about it.

Childhood Experiences With Sexuality

During an interview with actor Jameela Jamil on an episode of I Weigh Interviews, Smith revealed that they had liposuction in their younger days, and divulging that they sometimes considered a sex-change, also called a gender-affirming surgery.  Smith continued, “I've always been very free in terms of thinking about sexuality, so I’ve just tried to change that into my thoughts on gender as well.” They confided that when they were a boy attending school, there were periods where they did not own a single stitch of male clothing and even wore full makeup to class. Their revelation of being non-binary/genderqueer” allowed them to embrace that, as they say, “you are a mixture of all different things. You are your own special creation. That’s how I take it; I am not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between; it’s all on the spectrum” Previously to affirming their genderqueer/non-binary identity and establishing the preferred pronouns of they/them - which brought a rather significant backlash to which they had to firmly stick to their guns on those pronoun preferences via an Instagram post (since deleted) and a Twitter thread. Smith has identified as gay in a 214 public announcement just before the end of their relationship with actor and model Jonathan Zeizel. In later interviews since they came out as genderqueer - Smith has addressed the decision by saying “after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out”

Heartbreak and Grammys

In The Lonely Hour At the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015, when Smith won a Grammy for Record of the Year, they thanked their ex-lover with a heartfelt comment laced with humor,“ I want to thank the man who this record is about, who I fell in love with last year. Thank you so much for breaking my heart because you got me four Grammys.” Tracks Listed on In the Lonely Hour
  1. Money on My Mind
  2. Good Thing
  3. Stay With Me
  4. Leave Your Lover
  5. I’m Not the Only One
  6. I’ve Told You Now
  7. Like I can
  8. LifeSupport
  9. Not in That Way
  10. Lay Me Down
With a relatively lukewarm reception until Robert Cristgau released an enthusiastic hype piece for Vice stating that “Both vocally and verbally, they offer the kind of emotional complexity about sexual romance's ins and outs that good pop captures better than good literature, where cynicism is such a folkway.” The record was referred to as “charmingly catchy” and painted a picture of someone whose vulnerability and insecurity about love was worn on the sleeve with sincerity and honesty.

The Thrill of It All

On October 6th 217, Smith took to Twitter to announce the release of their second album,  The Thrill of It All,  which would be releasing at the beginning of November - less than a month from its announcement. In a Billboard interview, Smith reflected on their inspirations for writing the album, “I went through, like, this vortex came out, I feel like I've rebuilt myself as a stronger thing and I'm just gonna go into the vortex again," he says in a preview that features a montage of studio sessions. "I wasn't trying to make a big pop record when I made this album. I was actually just trying to make something personal and like a diary.” Along with the release of his album, Apple Music did a documentary about Smith which featured behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and musings where Smith reflects on their Grammy win and its subsequent effects on their life and the ever-growing body of work they produced. The journey through their second release functioned as a sort of therapy and coming-of-self that Smith reflected on by saying “I wasn't trying to make a big pop record when I made this album. I was actually just trying to make something personal and like a diary.” In the Apple Music film, Smith also touches on their gender fluidity and their female alter-ego they have named Karamel, whom they wholeheartedly attribute their success to. Tracks Listed on The Thrill of It All
  1. Too Good at Goodbyes
  2. Say It First
  3. One Last Song
  4. Midnight Train
  5. Burning
  6. Him
  7. Baby, You Make  Me Crazy
  8. No Peace (ft Yebba)
  9. Palace
  10. Pray

The critical reception of The Thrill of It All was decidedly more positive than their first album, however some critics remarked that it was less “natural” and lacked some of the sincerity of the initial album, with Alexis Pedtridis of The Guardian remarking that “there's a certain power to "The Thrill of It All" but it could have been a much more potent album if they'd laid off the polish just a little.” A more stern condemnation came from Kitty Empire of The Observer,  remarking that smith had become less sincere and more industry, sensing a formulaic “moping by numbers" like Adele, and surmised: "There is little drama here, just plenty of shorthand (sad pianos), a total absence of risk”. Love Goes Smith will be releasing their third album on October 30, 2020 via Capitol Records - though it was originally titled To Die For and was slated for release in June of 2020, it was pushed back due to Covid-19 and Smith’s feelings that it was insensitive to use the word “die” in the album title due to the great losses currently happening due to the pandemic. In a radio piece for BBC with Zoe Ball, Smith stated their reservations and commented on the upcoming title change; “the album had the word 'die' in the title, which I just felt really uncomfortable with, with what's happening [coronavirus] and it's so important for me to be sensitive to my fans and to people listening to my music. This has been a really sad and awful time for us, so I've changed the album title, I'm going to change the album cover."

During an interview with Zach Sang in 019, Smith commented that there would be “fewer ballads and plenty of poppier tracks” than the previous two releases. They revealed that they were very excited at the reaction to the recent songs, and they were emboldened on moving forward, "almost given me permission to kinda do what I've always dreamed of doing but I was always scared to do, which is pop music.”

So, Is Sam Smith Gay?

Yes. A resounding big yes - but so much more. With coming out as gay early in their career, they opened a door for themselves creatively and personally to not only evolve their music with a wide spectrum of emotion, perspective, and interpersonal variety - they also encouraged other artists to be themselves and create in open spaces. Smith’s resounding success as a non-binary, self-affirmed gay person is refreshing and encouraging, and hopefully here not only to stay - but to make spaces for more people to be themselves in the spotlight. There has been a large amount of speculation on artists’ sexuality, including stars like Frank Ocean, Jaden Smith, and even Taylor Swift - but does it really matter? Music is a vessel of the soul - and the evolution of Smith from their first album to the upcoming third is a rollercoaster of emotion, finding one’s voice, and finding one’s self. Listening to the development of Smith’s music is a view into the development of them as a person, a voyeuristic ride along the journey into someone becoming who they were meant to be, and loving themselves along the way.   Sources
  1. https://www.instagram.com/tv/BvBXv4FF5sq/ 
  2. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/sam-smith-s-they-them-pronoun-backlash-highlights-ongoing-cultural-ncna1056136 
  3. https://twitter.com/samsmith/status/1172519872464662530 
  4. https://www.imdb.com/news/ni58204268/ 
  5. https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/pop/8013801/sam-smith-apple-music-doc-trailer-the-thrill-of-it-all 
  6. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/17/entertainment/sam-smith-album-name-change-intl-scli-gbr/index.html 
  7. https://raptv.com/q-and-a/is-frank-ocean-gay/ 
  8. https://raptv.com/q-and-a/jaden-smith-is-he-gay/
  9. https://raptv.com/q-and-a/is-taylor-swift-gay/ 

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