Warning: This post contains discussions of verbal abuse and harassment.
Reflecting on the experience, Sam says they were fully accepted by their friends and family — but the general public was a different story.
"In my personal life, there's not one negative," Sam said in a clip from an Apple Music 1 interview with Zane Lowe, shared by People .
Sam says they now communicate better with their family, and their love life has definitely improved.
"I feel lovable. I feel comfortable in my skin, but I wear what I want to wear," Sam said. "Since changing my pronouns, it felt like a coming home. ... It is who I am, and it's who I've always been."
Unfortunately, when Sam shared the news with the world, it wasn't met with the same kind of reaction.
"The amount of hate and shit-ness that came my way was just exhausting," Sam said, adding that it was hard to avoid people talking about it in the news.
"It was really hard, and it's not like, this isn't me sitting at home Googling my name. … It was in the fucking news. It was hard not to look," Sam said.
While Sam says they can deal with not reading comments online, much of the criticism they face is "in the streets."
"What people don't realize with trans nonbinary people in the UK is it's happening in the street," they said. "I'm being abused in the street verbally more than I ever have."
They continued, "So, that was the hardest part, I think, was being at home in the UK and having people shouting at me in the street. Someone spat at me in the street. It's crazy."
Sam noted that if that is the kind of reaction they're getting as a celebrity, it must be even more difficult for other young people going through the same thing.
"What I find hard about it is, it's like, if that's happening to me and I'm famous, I'm a pop star, can you imagine what other kids, like queer kids are feeling," they said.
Sam added, "And it's just so sad that we're in 2023 and it's still happening. It's exhausting and especially in England."
You can listen to all that Sam had to say here .
If you or someone you know has experienced anti-LGBTQ violence or harassment, you can contact the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs hotline at 1-212-714-1141.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is 1-888-950-6264 (NAMI) and provides information and referral services; GoodTherapy.org is an association of mental health professionals from more than 25 countries who support efforts to reduce harm in therapy.
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