“On a personal level, I’m really happy for Sam that they’ve found their truth and they’re feeling liberated by it,” Lambert told the magazine in the interview published Monday. “At some point, you have to break through the ceiling and discuss trans or non-binary issues ... they’re really doing a bold thing. It’s time.”
Though Smith has drawn praise from other LGBTQ artists and advocacy groups, they’ve received a fair share of backlash, too. Speaking on “Good Morning Britain,” British media personality Piers Morgan suggested that Smith had only shared their pronouns as a publicity stunt, calling the announcement “a load of nonsense.”
In the interview, Lambert also drew comparisons between his experiences as a gay pop artist and that of Smith.
Later that same year, Lambert stoked controversy after angering the Parents Television Council at the American Music Awards. While his rendition of the song “For Your Entertainment” was tame by Madonna or Lady Gaga standards, it featured brief allusions to gay love, including a moment in which he and his male keyboard player shared an open-mouthed kiss.
“The media loves something that feels new and 10 years ago – in America anyway – there wasn’t a lot of mainstream music people identifying as gay, so it was a novelty,” Lambert said. “I feel there might be some parallels there.”
“If you stop for a minute and make it not about you and put yourself in the shoes of the person that’s being talked about and try to understand their experience – just for a second – you’ll realise what’s being asked is just that you be a decent human being,” he continued. “People get defensive, saying: ‘How dare you ask me to change the way I think!’ and just a little empathy would help.”
Lambert and Smith’s friendship dates back to around 2016, when the pair shared photos of themselves hanging out together in London and Mykonos. Last year, Smith found themself in hot water after Lambert accidentally shared a video of them expressing their distaste for Michael Jackson on Instagram.
Lambert, of course, defended his friend, telling People, “It was a sliver of a fuller conversation that was actually quite interesting. I think people need to give [them] a break.”