The British pop singer says his sexuality is a "non-issue," but what does that do for the queer community?
In her bi-weekly column, Social Anxiety, Emilie Friedlander peeks underneath the artifacts of contemporary culture to question what it all really means. This week, The FADER's executive editor Jessica Robertson steps in for a special guest edition.
I spent time with Sam Smith over two days in Berlin earlier this year, for one of our four FADER 92 Summer Music Issue cover stories. He was two weeks shy of his 22nd birthday, in the throes of a compact European tour in support of his debut album, In the Lonely Hour. By the time we met at his hotel in Kurfürstendamm, Smith had already told reporters the story behind the inspiration for the album: he’d fallen in love with someone who didn’t love him back. We talked at length about love and relationships, and Smith spoke of the former with the wide-eyed innocence of someone who’d internalized an idealized version of that emotion. It made sense: a self-professed romantic, he was young and inexperienced. I, two weeks shy of turning 31, opened up to him in return, even sharing with him that most of my own relationships, significant or otherwise, have been with women. It wasn’t until we revisited the subject of unrequited love in a follow-up interview that, for the first time, Smith stopped using gender-neutral pronouns (“someone”) when discussing the object of his affection, and instead, said “he.”