Sex & Gender

billy dee williams opens up about gender fluidity

December 2, 2019
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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.