In the revealing, the soul star talked about his gender identity. "I don't know what the title would be, but I feel just as much woman as I am man," he shared after explaining he doesn't feel like a cisgender man (cisgender referring to those who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth). "People don't know this, but when I was 17, I remember becoming obsessed with Boy George and Marilyn [Monroe], and all that. There was one moment in my life where I didn't own a piece of male clothing, really. I would wear full make-up every day in school, eyelashes, leggings with Dr. Martens and huge fur coats, for two and a half years."
Smith opened up about struggles he faced growing up too. "I got teased a lot for it, but there were also people respecting me for walking around like that in my school," before talking about an assault years later. "I'd finished work and put on my clothes, and someone punched me in the chest, obviously just because of the way I looked. But that never bothered me, because I had this barricade up."
The comments have drawn both applause and criticism from different groups and communities:
Still, Smith adds that his new album The Thrill of It All—which drops in less than two weeks on Nov. 3—has helped him come to terms with himself as, what he calls himself, a "gay guy."
"I think they show my growth, my confidence," he says of his new songs which include a track called "Him" about a son coming out to his father. "I feel like they show me. They show the gay guy I've become."
We have a feeling Sam will need to further clarify his statements and help shed light on exactly how he identifies (it's possible Smith prefers "they/them" pronouns or simply just acknowledges his female side), but while we wait, check out a classic Fuse interview with Smith where he discusses his coming out: