British singer Sam Smith says making the Dancing With A Stranger video with Normani prompted them to come out as non-binary.
Smith, 27, said that they made Dancing With A Stranger after a break-up, when they wanted to write a song about freedom instead of a sad ballad.
They told Billboard: “I had just gone through a breakup and the last thing I wanted to do was write a sad song.
“I was listening to a lot of really sexy music because it made me feel better, so I wanted the song to capture what I was doing: going to clubs and kissing people.”
They added that: “The song launched me into a really beautiful space of writing and freedom. There’s a femininity within that song that has ignited a flame within me; it triggered the transition I’ve made into a non-binary person.”
Smith came out as non-binary and genderqueer in March this year, saying – on an episode of Jameela Jamil’s Instagram Live show, I Weigh interviews: “When I saw the words ‘non-binary’ and ‘genderqueer’ and I read into it and I heard this people speaking, I was like ‘F**k, that’s me.’”
When Jamil asked them to define what that meant to them, Smith said, “Non-binary genderqueer is that you do not identify in a gender. You are a mixture of different things, you are your own special creation. That’s how I take it. I’m not male or female, I think I flow somewhere in between. It’s all on the spectrum.”
Later in the year, in September, Sam Smith publicly asked for people to refer to them with they/them pronouns.
This brought a lot of visibility to the non-binary community, with many – including trans model and activist Munroe Bergdorf – praising Smith for being open and vulnerable.
“It’s such an amazing, brave move for someone who is as successful and well known as them to come out and say, ‘You know what, this is how I want to be referred to’, and that has such huge implications for the non-binary community as well,” Bergdorf told the Metro.
Smith has received overwhelming support from the non-binary community, who hope that their announcement will bring greater awareness and understanding of non-binary people.