Sam Smith opens up about gender identity

The 25-year-old singer has opened up about his cross-dressing past.

AFP: Guest singer Sam Smith performs onstage during the Disclosure show on day 2 of the 2016 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Club on 16 April 2016 in Indio, California. Picture: Getty Images for Coachella/AFP.

LONDON - Sam Smith has spoken out about his gender identity, saying he sees himself "just as much woman" as he is a man.

The 25-year-old singer has opened up about his cross-dressing past and although he used to be mocked for it when he was younger, he revealed some people "respected" him for being so open.

The I'm Not The Only One hitmaker told The Sunday Times Culture magazine: "I feel just as much woman as I am man. I got teased for it. But there were also people respecting me for walking around like that in my school.

"I just buy everything - heels, dresses. I love a heel. I've got loads of heels at home."

And the star has revealed he used to wear a "full" face of make-up when he was at school, which saw him layer false eyelashes on his eyes, because he was inspired by Boy George and the singer Marilyn.

He explained: "People don't know this, but when I was 17, I remember becoming obsessed with Boy George and Marilyn, and all that. There was on moment in my life where I didn't own a piece of male clothing, really. I would wear full make-up every day in school, eyelashes, leggings with Dr Martens and huge fur coats, for two and a half years."

Smith, who rose to fame in 2012, has admitted he was desperate to change the label he was associated with when he broke into the music business, and though he has been desperate to change the title of being a "gay singer" he has now started to embrace the name.

He said: "I remember, at the beginning of my career, being called a 'gay singer', and I didn't want that. I wanted to be seen as a singer first, before people spoke about my private life. And now it's changed - I've changed. I think that maybe I don't mind that title."