There's no bad blood between Shawn Mendes and Sam Smith. The "Wonder" singer made amends with his fellow musician after using the wrong pronouns to introduce their most recent performance. Ultimately, Shawn Mendes' apology for misgendering Sam Smith serves as a reminder that we're all learning to be better at recognizing and respecting gender identity.
At iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball on Thursday, Dec. 10, Mendes used incorrect pronouns while introducing Smith, who is non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. The next day, the 22-year-old singer took to Instagram stories to express regret for his mistake the night before.
"Oh @samsmith I'm so sorry for referring to you as a 'he' for your jingle ball introduction," Mendes wrote in an Instagram stories apology on Friday, Dec. 11. "It absolutely slipped my mind. Won't happen again...Sending you so much love!"
"Also you are absolutely one of the funniest people I've ever met!," he added.
Smith accepted Mendes' apology, sharing it on their story and writing, "We're all learning together. Happy holidays, all my love xx"
Smith spoke about being non-binary and genderqueer during an appearance on actor and activist Jameela Jamil's "I Weigh Interviews" series in March 2019.
"When I saw the words 'non-binary' and 'genderqueer' and I read into it and I heard these people speaking, I thought f*ck — that is me," Smith said.
After Jamil asked the star what those words meant to them, Smith responded, "[They] mean to me that you do not identify as a gender, you are just you. You are a mixture of all different things, you are your own special creation. That's how I take it."
In September 2019, the "Writing's on the Wall" musician officially announced on social media that they use they/them pronouns.
"Today is a good day so here goes. I've decided to change my pronouns to THEY/THEM," Smith wrote. "After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out."
"I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision but I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f*ck it!" they continued. "I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now. Thank you."
It's only natural for people to slip up every once and a while when first learning someone's new pronouns, but as Mendes has shown, it's all about having the right intentions and making amends when you recognize you made a mistake.