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Sam Smith on His Oscar Whoopsie: 'I Need to Know My Gay History'

Sam Smith on His Oscar Whoopsie: 'I Need to Know My Gay History'

Sam Smith on His Oscar Whoopsie: 'I Need to Know My Gay History'

Smith opens up about depression, coming out, the Oscars, and his new album.

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International pop sensation Sam Smith sent the media into a frenzy last year with one sentence. "I’m proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar," he declared at the 2016 Academy Awards. Oblivious to Alan Ball, Elton John, and Stephen Sondheim and others before him, Smith was promptly called out for being completely unaware of queer history. 

In an eye-opening interview with Zane Lowe last week, Sam Smith opened up about his life, latest album, depression, coming out, and his Oscars whoopsie that left many in the LGBT community questioning his character. 

"Do you feel like you fucked up that night?" asks Lowe.

"Yeah, I do," replied the "Stay With Me" superstar.

Smith struggled with coming out to the entire world. "I came out when I was 10. I did all that." But when "Latch" launched the singer into the public eye, he had to come out again. "I found that harder than coming out to my parents."

He talked about his sexuality for the first time in a 2014 Fader interview when discussing the object of his album's object of affection, but didn't speak too much about it after. "Words got chucked around like being a 'spokesperson', and it just freaked me out," Smith explained. "I didn't know what to say and I didn't know how to say it and I didn't want to offend anyone."

But this avoidance to speak his truth may have led him down a more ignorant path, and after the Oscars faux pas and a scolding from Sir Ian McKellen, he woke up. "I have to take responsibility. I need to know my gay history before I speak on it. I need to read more. I need to open my mind up and grow up if I'm going to speak openly about being gay."

"By saying the wrong thing, damage can be done to a community, so I'm trying to take responsibility for that. But it's not going to happen overnight."

Smith's latest single, "Pray," is a more outwards look at pain and suffering. After spending five days in Mosul, Iraq, Smith was embarrassed he'd know so little about what was going on around the world. It seems he wants to use his platform for good. "After the Oscars stuff, I feel more confident," he explained to Lowe. "I feel like I know what I know what to say, and I feel great about it." 

Watch Sam Smith's full BBC One Interview below.

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Taylor Henderson

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one! 

Taylor Henderson is a PRIDE.com contributor. This proud Texas Bama studied Media Production/Studies and Sociology at The University of Texas at Austin, where he developed his passions for pop culture, writing, and videography. He's absolutely obsessed with Beyoncé, mangoes, and cheesy YA novels that allow him to vicariously experience the teen years he spent in the closet. He's also writing one!