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On Thursday night (December 10), Mendes used improper pronouns to introduce Smith before they took to the stage at the star-studded virtual event.
It comes after Smith announced in September last year that they identify as non-binary. The ‘Dancing With A Stranger’ singer uses the “they/them” pronouns, which Smith has on their Instagram profile page.
“Oh @samsmith I’m so sorry for referring to you as a ‘he’ for your jingle ball introduction,” Mendes wrote on his Instagram Stories on Friday (December 11). “It absolutely slipped my mind. Wont happen again.”
Smith has now responded on their own Instagram Stories, reposting Mendes’ story.
“We’re all learning together,” they wrote with two white heart emojis. “Happy holidays, all my love xx.”
The Oscar-winning star changed their pronouns some six months after first coming out.
In a recent interview with CBS This Morning, the singer, 28, spoke about the challenges of coming to terms with their true identity while facing the public spotlight.
“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.”
Smith explained: “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.
“I mean, honestly, the comments and the types of things that I have to answer and walk through every day is very, very intense.”