Sam Smith Shares Defiant Message After UK Government's Comments About Transgender People

Prime minister Rishi Sunak's remarks about the trans community have already faced a widespread backlash.
Sam Smith on stage in Mexico last month
Sam Smith on stage in Mexico last month
Medios y Media via Getty Images

Sam Smith has spoken out in solidarity with trans and gender non-conforming people after comments made by cabinet ministers in the last week.

On Wednesday, which marked the final day of the Tory party conference in Manchester, prime minister Rishi Sunak told those in attendance: “We shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can’t.

“A man is a man and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense.”

These comments were met with widespread applause from those in the room.

Rishi Sunak
Rishi Sunak
NurPhoto via Getty Images

A day earlier, health secretary Steve Barclay claimed that trans men and women will be banned from male-only and female-only hospital wards, respectively.

Posting on their Instagram story in the wake of these remarks from government ministers, Sam – who came out as non-binary in 2019 – shared a message with their “trans/non binary and gender non conforming” followers in the UK.

“You are not alone. Your humanity and your life MATTERS,” they wrote. “Sending every one of you so much love.”

A screenshot of Sam's message
A screenshot of Sam's message
Instagram/Sam Smith

Newsreader India Willoughby also responded to the news in a series of posts on X (formerly known as Twitter), describing Sunak’s remarks as “outrageous” and “grotesque”.

That night, she added: “Had a few hours thinking about it, and there is no way on Earth I or the rest of the trans community are going to be beaten by a tiny, socially-awkward hee-hawwing little shit like Rishi Sunak.”

Model and activist Munroe Bergdorf also shared a lengthy post on her Instagram about Barclay’s remarks earlier in the week.

“I’m frustrated, angry and sad at the state of this country,” she wrote.

“That so many people are failing to see what links us as human beings, instead, opting to participate in a baseless moral panic that has been played out so many times before, by government leaders and media institutions seeking authoritarian power and control.”

She concluded: “If you think that UK transgender healthcare, or even our legal recognition isn’t up for debate, then I don’t know how much more evidence you need… Please join us to fight back against this hatred.”

Elliot Colburn, the MP for Carshalton and Wallington, told a meeting on the fringes of the Conservative party conference to “drop this hardcore rhetoric and we have to drop it now”.

“I want to make one thing perfectly clear to our Conservative colleagues. We will not win the next general election fighting with the LGBT+ community,” he said.


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