Sam Smith understands it may take time for people to adjust to using their preferred pronouns — but they’ll wait patiently.
On Friday, to launch their new single “To Die For” from their upcoming album of the same name, Smith, 27, sat down with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s New Music Daily on Beats 1 to discuss their gender-neutral pronouns and hopes for a more inclusive society.
“What’s hard is people changing their vocabulary; that’s very, very difficult,” said Smith. “It takes time. Everyone messes up. I’m going to be misgendered to the day I die.”
They added: “This is going to take a long, long time for people to not use gender in their vocabulary.”
In September, the Grammy winner, who had come out as non-binary months prior, told fans and the rest of the world that “they/them” were their preferred pronouns, rather than “he/him.” The decision, Smith told Lowe, is so that they can feel more “comfortable” in everyday life.
“This is all about feeling safe, and it makes me feel happy and it makes me feel comfortable,” the singer said. “And if I get to live a life where I’m a little bit more comfortable and happy, then I think it’s worth it.”
“I’m so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision,” they wrote in the caption, “but I’ve been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f— it!”
They added: “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.”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories
With the new album — their third — Smith said that they reached a new level of self-acceptance and emotional freedom when creating it.
“I‘m more proud of this album than anything I’ve ever done,” the artist tweeted on Thursday. “I’ve really set myself free the last two years whilst writing this & I hope you can dance and relate to these stories. It’s all for you, always xx.”
To Die For will be available wherever you stream music on May 1.