Sam Smith’s “Leave Your Lover” May Not Be A Coming Out Story… And That’s Ok

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British singer Sam Smith has released the music video for his latest single “Leave Your Lover”. One of my best friends in the world has been trying to get me into Sam Smith for some time now, but I’ve been hesitant to give him a listen. It isn’t that I’m sceptical of her taste in music. It’s just that she’s the same one who introduced me to Ed Sheeran’s music, and let’s just say that that “introduction” quickly spiralled into borderline obsession that has yet to show any signs of slowing down. So, yeah, I think my hesitance is justified.

Anyimaweirdoandiadmitit, “Leave Your Lover” is a really heartfelt ballad (albeit a tad stalker-y) and the music video is pretty creative, but has left some people wondering if it’s a reflection of Sam Smith’s own sexuality. Originally, I’d planned to write this post slamming all the idiots who were so quick to assume Smith’s sexual orientation from a single music video, but I decided to focus more on the video and only mention this aspect in passing. I’m not saying that Smith is definitely not gay, or that it’s just a video and no reflection of his own sexuality. But can we not be so quick in this collective desire to have a male celebrity jump out of the closet? I think this is why so many gay celebrities who are in the closet and don’t want to be publicly pegged as gay choose to stay so far from anything gay-related, and we vilify them for it. If Sam Smith is gay, great. If he at some point chooses to acknowledge that, even better! But for crying out loud, let’s give him the opportunity to do it on his own terms and not seek it out in his creative endeavours. Okay, infuriating holier-than-thou rant over… onto the music video.

You see, the general implication throughout the song and I guess much of the video is that Smith is lamenting the unrequited love that he feels with a female friend, who is supposedly in a relationship with one of his male friends (a bit of the lyrics is: “leave your lover, leave him for me”). The three of them hang out a ton (far lengthier and closer than most friends do, in my opinion), and there is often this third-wheel-type image. However, in the end of the video, it is revealed that Sam Smith’s male friend is actually gay, so there’s a very real likelihood that Smith has been crooning to him the entire time. This concept of the video, in my opinion, sounds a lot clearer in this explanation, and the gay male friend angle was supposed to have been a plot twist, I’m guessing. However – and I swear that I’m not knocking the video just for the sake of it – in the actual video, the fact that the male friend was gay was pretty much obvious to me all the way through and it didn’t really seem that Sam Smith was pining over the female friend any more than he was over the male friend. I mean, take a look at the picture above. Which straight male friends dance together like that? I’m gay and if any of my straight guy friends came up slow dancing like that with me, I’d point them to the nearest meeting of the “Questioning My Sexuality Coalition”. For the record, I don’t think this coalition exists, but if it does… damn! And if it doesn’t, but becomes a thing later on, I already demand a cut of all profits for putting the idea out into the universe.

The music video to Sam Smith’s “Leave Your Lover” is below and I kind of hate to admit it, but I actually really love the song. This is not meant to be a snide remark at Sam Smith’s expense; it’s just… sigh… we may have another Ed Sheeran situation on our hands really soon. Except, if it turns out that Sam Smith is gay, I actually may have a chance with this one. (But, Ed, you’ll always be my first love!)

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