- 23 Sep 19
Sam Smith's recent coming out forces the industry to reevaluate.
The times are changing, and with them comes changes in industry. Historically, gender has divided award ceremonies into 'male' and 'female' categories. Now it seems the music industry is ready to acknowledge this division may be obsolete. Most recently, the BRIT Awards have spoken out saying that they are planning to make 'significant changes' in regards to gender categorizations. Additionally, a music industry source told The Sunday Times, 'Bosses are listening to changes happening in the industry. The categories will evolve in the coming years.' Though these potential revisions won't be reflected this year, the BRIT's are planning to review for 2021.
The conversation has been sparked by British pop star Sam Smith, who recently came out as non-binary. Smith prefers they/them pronouns and does not identify as a man or woman. Though non-binary identities have been around in the Western world for years now, Smith's stature in the industry prompts serious discussion and changes from executives. It makes sense the BRIT's are speaking up first, in 2015 they had nominated Smith for 'Best Male Solo Artist.'
Read Sam Smith's original statement below:
"Today is a good day so here goes. I've decided I am changing my pronouns to THEY/THEM ... after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out. I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f***k it! I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you. P.s. I am at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non binary but I can't wait for the day that I am. So for now I just want to be VISIBLE and open. If you have questions and are wondering what this all means I'll try my best to explain but I have also tagged below the human beings who are fighting the good fight everyday. These are activists and leaders of the non binary/trans community that have helped me and given me so much clarity and understanding. Love you all. I'm scared s***less, but feeling super free right now. Be kind x (sic)"