Sam Smith replied to Shawn Mendes on Instagram today, after the 22-year-old singer misgendered them earlier this week on live radio.
On Thursday evening, Shawn Mendes misgendered Sam Smith while introducing them at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball. Smith, 28, identifies as a non-binary person, and since last September uses ‘they/them/theirs’ pronouns.
The slip did not go unnoticed, with many fans taking to social media to call Mendes out, with one person writing: “Hi @ShawnMendes, you misgendered Sam Smith while introducing them yesterday at the jingle ball using ‘he’ when they officially go by the pronouns they/them.”
“When [sic] know you meant no harm and it was unintentional but you owe an apology for Sam and your non-binary fans,” they continued. Following this, Mendes took to social media to apologise for his mistake.
“Oh @samsmith I’m so sorry for referring to you as a ‘he’ for your jingle ball introduction,” Mendes wrote on his Instagram story last week. “It absolutely slipped my mind. Wont happen again… Sending you so much love! Also you absolutely are one of the funniest people I’ve ever met !.”
Shawn via IG story pic.twitter.com/nQrnfySp7G
— Shawn Mendes Updates (@DailyMendesLife) December 11, 2020
Smith responded to Mendez’s post – and they were honestly pretty good about it. “We’re all learning together,” they wrote with two white heart emojis. “Happy holidays, all my love xx.”
Being misgendered is just one of the struggles that non-binary people face, with hate speech, discrimination, and violence being among the worst. Smith expressed last month that they were not prepared for the “ridicule” they faced after coming out as queer and non-binary.
In a recent interview with CBS This Morning, the Diamonds vocalist spoke about the difficulties of being in the public eye as a non-conforming identity.
Sam Smith on their new album and the “courage” it took to come out as non-binary https://t.co/cHksufh6Iq
— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 19, 2020
“Queer people all around the world, we don’t identify within those two places. Gender, for me, has been nothing but traumatizing and challenging throughout my life,” Smith said.
“It’s so hard to explain. I just feel like myself. I don’t feel like a man, basically.”
“I honestly, I can’t express to enough people how much courage it’s taken. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of ridicule. And bullying, really, that I’ve experienced,” Smith continued.
“I mean, honestly, the comments and the types of things that I have to answer and walk through every day is very, very intense.”
NON-BINARY REPRESENTATION MATTERS
Thank you, @samsmith, for using your platform to shine a light on the importance of visibility for our community and why we should create inclusive, welcoming spaces for everyone. 💛⚪💜🖤 https://t.co/ssUOfkInEr
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) November 23, 2020
It truly does take courage to be who you really are in this world, and Sam, thank you, we are here for it.