“I’m scared every day.”

Sam Smith says they noticed homophobia and sexism in the music industry after coming out as non-binary.

In an interview with SiriusXM’s Hits 1, the British singer-songwriter explained: “I’m loving it, I mean I’m scared every day. Being my feminine self in this world that we’re in, I mean the music industry can be a bit homophobic, a bit sexist at times.”

Sam said they were reluctant to share the music video for their massive dance-pop anthem How Do You Sleep, which saw the star performing choreography in a pair of high heels, due to their “feminine” movements (see below).

“Being feminine like this in the way I move and dance and am, it feels quite scary at times but is worth it,” they continued. “I felt very vulnerable doing it but I’m seeing now that’s the best space to be in. You feel joy quicker when being vulnerable like that.”

They added: “But I’ve always been like that when in the club, with friends, with people that I feel safe with but showing it to the world is a different thing and I finally felt safe enough to do so.”

Back in September, Sam announced they wish to use they/them pronouns instead of he/him.

“Today is a good day so here goes. I’ve decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM. After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out,” they wrote. 

“I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but fuck it!”

Sam expressed that they are “at no stage just yet to eloquently speak about what it means to be non-binary” but that they want to be as open and visible as possible – and pointed to activists like Munroe Bergdorf and Travis Alabanza as inspirations.

“Love you all. I’m scared shitless, but feeling super free right now. Be kind,” they concluded.

Smith’s post received an overwhelmingly positive response, with many celebrity friends and fellow activists voicing their support. However, there were a few publications who misgendered them, including The Sun and The Daily Telegraph.

On Twitter, Smith said they “understand there will be many mistakes and misgendering but all I ask is you please please try, I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.”

Related: Exclusive: Sam Smith and Renée Zellweger discuss their “super camp” Judy Garland duet.