Sam Smith on homophobic experiences: “I thought I’d become a pop star and never get a bad word said to me again”

They have since embraced their role of being a voice for the LGBTQ+ community

Sam Smith has opened up about their experiences of homophobia.

The pop star said in a new interview that once they found fame and success, they thought any abuse against their sexuality would stop.

But Smith says even now, they still encounter homophobic discrimination.


“It’s still hard to be queer. There’s still backlash,” they said to Zane Lowe on his Apple Music show. “I still get things said to me on the street, even now. The weirdest thing is you can be famous, you can be a pop star and you still get it.”

Smith continued: “Because I thought I’d become a pop star and I’d never get a bad word said to me ever again. I’d never have homophobia. I’d never experience it if I became a star. And then it happens and it’s still there. It’s still there.”

The pop star went on to say they have since embraced their role of being a voice for the LGBTQ+ community.

Sam Smith and Kim Petras. CREDIT: Dave Benett/Getty Images.

Smith added: “You have to talk about it all. And I’ve stepped into that because I’ve now realised how powerful that is. And there’s kids out there that need this. They need us to talk about it.”

It comes after Smith and Kim Petras recently became the first openly non-binary and transgender artists, respectively, to top the Billboard Hot 100 with their collaborative single ‘Unholy’.


The song is the second single from Smith’s fourth studio album ‘Gloria’, which is set for release in January of 2023, following on from April’s ‘Love Me More’.

The only other non-binary artist to have topped the Billboard chart previously is Halsey, who uses both they/them and she/her pronouns. However, both of their Number One singles – ‘Closer’ with The Chainsmokers in 2016, and ‘Without Me’ in 2018 – came before they publicly came out in 2021.

Meanwhile, Smith also recently shared details of a UK and European tour for next year. Any remaining tickets are available here.

They are also due to perform at Capital’s Jingle Bell Ball with Barclaycard 2022 alongside Coldplay and Lewis Capaldi next month.