Sam Smith reflects on their journey since they came out as non-binary in 2019.
In an exclusive clip shared with PEOPLE from Smith’s interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, the “Like I Can” singer shared how much their lives have changed since the announcement.
“In my personal life, there is not a single negative point. My family, they can communicate with me. They always did. But they communicate with me in an even better way now,” 30-year-old Smith told the host. “My love life has improved. I feel loved. I feel good about myself, but I wear what I want to wear.”
They continued: “Since I changed my pronouns, it felt like coming home. I wish I knew what the words were when I was in school because at school I would have identified that way. Because it is who I am and it is who I’ve always been.”
RELATED: Sam Smith looks back on coming out as non-binary: I wasn’t prepared for the amount of ridicule
The singer-songwriter said at the time that their only struggle was in their public life and career.
“The amount of hate and s-tyness that came my way was just exhausting. And it was really hard and it’s not like I’m sitting at home googling my name… It was in the news. It was hard to not to look.”
Smith admitted that they can “control,” not google themselves and “read comments” — but there’s more to it.
“What people don’t realize about non-binary trans people in the UK is that it’s happening on the street. I’m being verbally abused on the street more than I’ve ever been before. So that was the hardest part, I think, back home in the UK and people being against screaming at me in the street,” they said.
Smith continued, “Someone spat at me on the street. It’s crazy. What’s hard for me about it is that if that happens to me and I’m famous, I’m a pop star, can you imagine what other kids, like queer kids, feel like “And it’s just so sad that we’re in 2023 and it’s still happening. It’s exhausting, especially in England.”
The full episode airs on Apple Music 1 at 10pm PT at apple.co/_Zane.
Smith’s fourth studio album Gloria is scheduled for release on Friday. They first announced the record in October and said they would be delving into personal topics throughout the body of work, from romance to deceit and all the passion in between.
Andrew Harnik/AP/Shutterstock Sam Smith
“It feels like an emotional, sexual and spiritual liberation. It was beautiful, with this album, to sing freely again. Oddly enough, it feels like my very first record,” they said in a press release. “And it feels like growing up.”
Later that month, Smith’s song featuring Kim Petras titled “Unholy” reached No. 1 on the charts Billboard Hot 100.
Meanwhile, Smith becomes the first ever openly non-binary solo artist – while Petras becomes the first openly transgender solo artist – to reach the top of the chart since its launch in 1991, per Billboard.
“NUMBER ONEEE HOT 100! I am so grateful. Sam, I can’t thank you enough for riding with me for years at this point,” Petras wrote in a celebratory post on Instagram. “I’m so honored to be part of your first US number one, of which you should have 500 at this point. Love you forever Angel Sam 💗”