"I hope you can see me like I see myself now."

Sam Smith has asked fans to use the pronouns “they/them”, not “he/him”, after coming out as non-binary.

The pop star wrote on Instagram: “After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”

The singer added: “I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think.”

Six months ago, Smith said they did not feel male or female, but “I flow somewhere in between”.

On Friday, the 27-year-old said they had been “surrounded by people that support me in this decision”.

They wrote: “I understand there will be many mistakes and mis-gendering but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you.”

The singer went on to say: “I am at no stage just yet to eloquently speak at length about what it means to be non binary but I can’t wait for the day that I am. So for now I just want to be VISIBLE and open.”

At last week’s GQ Men of the Year Awards, Smith walked the red carpet wearing high heels, posting: “I’d never ever ever be able to be myself like this in front of the industry or anyone.”

Toryn Glavin, trans engagement manager at LGBT charity Stonewall, said: “We’re delighted that Sam Smith feels able to speak openly about their gender identity, and their visibility will have a huge impact on many non-binary people.

“Sadly we know that it is still far too hard for people to be open and accepted for who they are, and we will keep campaigning until every LGBT person is accepted without exception.”

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