Sam Smith has credited Lady Gaga with allowing them to come to terms with their gender.

The Stay With Me hitmaker, who came out as non-binary last year and uses they/them pronouns, opened up about their gender identity and expression in a new video – and the part that Gaga’s 2008 album The Fame played.

‘Gaga is probably the reason why I actually came to terms with my gender,’ Sam explained.

‘I was 15 when The Fame came out and I was obsessed with Lady Gaga and, for me, she gave me complete permission to be myself and to be proud of my queerness.

‘It was a form of expression but it was also, weirdly, a form of protection. It was a way of almost saying to the homophobes and the bullies, “Stay away from me a little bit, because I’m confident and I’m powerful in my queerness.”‘

Although it’s been a year since Sam, 28, came out, they recently admitted it’s still an uphill battle to get people to respect being openly gender neutral.

They told Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show: ‘I’ve always felt the way I felt. When I changed my pronouns, things got complicated for sure. It took time.

‘My family, they all got it like that and it wasn’t a problem. What I’ve learned is people don’t like to be wrong, and when people mess up a pronoun or something, they really don’t like it.

‘It kind of ruins conversations, ruins moments. It’s really difficult.

‘So, I’ve had to just go into myself and try and deal with it in a real kind way and just know everyone’s working on this. It’s going to take time. We’re changing a language here.’

Sam, who is about to release their highly-anticipated new album, went on to say that they eventually want to be a ‘mummy’ – but they’re putting off parenthood until they’re about 35.

‘I’m definitely going to do that at some point, but I’ve still got more in me,’ they explained.

‘I’m ambitious and I would still want to sing to people and do this job. It’s an amazing feeling.’

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