KIIS FM shock jock Kyle Sandilands has struggled to get his head around Sam Smith’s non-binary pronouns in an on-air rant.
Sam came out as non-binary last year, and asks that people use the pronouns “they/them”, not “he/him”.
But on the Kyle and Jackie O Show on Tuesday, Kyle queried that if he had to use the gender-neutral language he should also be allowed to use racial slurs.
“I’m sick of this. Why should I have to do this?” Sandilands fumed.
“I’ll now be allowed to use the N-word because I identify as a black woman. Is that right? Is that how it works?”
No, Kyle. Co-host Jackie O replied, “That’s the way it is these days, hun.”
But Kyle continued, “I’m not buying into the ‘their’. I can’t. It’s too much.
“‘They’re an absolute sweetie,’ like there’s two of them.”
Jackie then shared the simple rule she uses to remember to address Sam correctly.
“When you’re talking to [them], imagine you’re talking to The Veronicas. That’s how I do it,” she said.
Sam Smith explains their non-binary identity
Explaining their non-binary identity last year, Sam Smith said they made the announcement after “a lifetime of being at war” with their gender.
“Non-binary or genderqueer is that you do not identify in a gender,” Sam said in March last year.
“You are a mixture of all different things. You are your own special creation. That’s how I take it, I am not male or female.
“I think I float somewhere in between. It’s all on the spectrum.”
But Sam told The Project in February they’re not offended when people “trip up” over their pronouns, as long as they make an effort.
“I trip up too! Of course I do, I’m a human being,” they told interviewer Carrie Bickmore.
“I have been called ‘he and him’ since the day I was born, you know, 27 years of my life. So I can understand.
“My mum, all the time, she’ll call me ‘he/him’ and then she gets angry with herself. It’s okay. But it is important, you know?
“All I can say is that when people use my pronouns correctly, it’s a wonderful feeling. I feel safe, I feel happy, and I feel completely seen.”
Sam continued, “I was actually in Australia, I was in Brisbane on tour, with my second tour The Thrill of it All.
“I had a massive night out at the end of the tour and I was drunk at 3am with my bandmates and friends in my room.
“I just started hearing about the term non-binary. I’d never heard it before.
“The pronoun thing for me just felt like a flag in the ground, like this is how I want to be treated by everyone.”
Last week, the singer revealed they believe they had an unconfirmed case of coronavirus, but they had since recovered.
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