BILLY DEE WILLIAMS OPENS UP ABOUT GENDER FLUIDITY
By Awa Gueye
December 2, 2019
Billy Dee Williams cemented himself/herself in cinematic history as Lando Calrissian in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” in 1980 (a role he reprises in the upcoming “The Rise of Skywalker”).
In a recent interview with Esquire to promote the film, the 82-year-old actor discussed his gender identity and preferred pronouns. He spoke of his relationship to his masculine self as well as to his feminine self saying, “I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine … I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself.”
The actor, who lives life according to one rule — be yourself, has struck a sweet chord with genderqueer people on the internet who needed to hear words like these come from an elder. “I never tried to be anything except myself … I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously.” The response to Williams’ revelation exemplifies exactly why representation of gender expression in the Black community is needed especially with diversity in age.
Billy Dee Williams talking about his preferred pronouns and feelings about his gender identity at age 82 just makes my heart melt. I love this man so much. So happy to be seeing him onscreen again. https://t.co/3jNc56Dnrk pic.twitter.com/AyHnCOpU6k
— della gon deliver it to ya (@della_morte_) November 27, 2019
Love to see it. Especially for all those who act like we just sprouted 5 years ago. https://t.co/Rb9UnmRiVO
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) November 30, 2019
Billy Dee Williams coming out as non-binary is important because it goes against the popular image of non-binary people as young, white and androgynous.
— The Cat Painting from House (1977) (@elevatorcore) November 28, 2019
Billy Dee Williams comes out as non-binary and gender fluid. So good to see a Black elder living her /his authentic life. 😍🌈 https://t.co/vNoY9gDUzL
— Campbell X (@CampbellX) November 29, 2019
HOLY SHIT BILLY DEE WILLIAMS IS GENDERQUEER
I LOVE THEM SO MUCH, LANDO HAS ALWAYS BEEN ONE OF MY FAV SW CHARACTERS, YOU GO GIRL!!!
Also shows that not all boomers (I know he’s not one but you know what I mean) are unprogressive on gender issues, maybe there’s hope for others
— Lavender is wishing for a white Christmas (@LavenderLady113) December 1, 2019