Billy Dee Williams will forever be Lando Calrissian in the minds of Star Wars fans all over the world. He reprised this iconic role in the latest installment of the franchise, Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. But his list of acting credits is far longer than the Star Wars franchise. The acclaimed actor has almost 150 acting credits on his IMDB page and has played several other iconic roles. Williams such a household name that he’s appeared as himself on several popular shows, demonstrating his enduring fame.
Like every human being, Billy Dee Williams is a complex creature, the embodiment of being true to yourself. He discussed this in a recent interview with “Esquire,” in which he revealed that he uses male and female pronouns. When the interview was published, the Internet took the statement to mean that Williams was coming out as gender-fluid.
What Exactly Did Billy Dee Williams Say About His Gender?
In the interview with “Esquire,” Williams made one thing clear above all else – his primary goal in life has always been to be himself without any apologies.
“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,” said Williams.
He went on to talk about how he’s never let boundaries or anyone else’s ideas of who he is shape his own perception of himself. And his use of both male and female pronouns in the statement revealed that he doesn’t confine himself to typical ideas of gender either. To elaborate on his own views of his gender Williams said,
“And you see 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.”
Both of these statements seem to indicate that Billy Dee Williams doesn’t see himself as either a man or a woman in the traditional interpretations of these genders. They seem to indicate that he identifies with both genders. Many people who choose to use both male and female pronouns identify as gender-fluid. So, Billy Dee Williams’s statements about the way he perceives his own gender were interpreted as him coming out as gender-fluid.
The Internet’s Reaction To Williams’s ‘Coming Out’
Of course, many fans were thrilled at Williams’s apparent coming out. As an older, black male, he’s not the typical embodiment of a gender-fluid individual. The LGTBQ+ community welcomed him with open arms, praising his bravery for coming to terms with his gender identity so late in life. Many were also excited to see that a person of color was so openly discussing differences in gender identity since people of color are often marginalized in the LGBTQ+ community. The reactions on Twitter were overwhelmingly positive.
Billy Dee Williams Clarifies
But it appears that Williams’s statements about the way he views his gender were misinterpreted. In an interview with “The Undefeated” only days after the “Esquire” piece was published, Williams clarified that the statements he made in the “Esquire” interview were not his coming out. In fact, Williams said that he had never heard of the term gender-fluid and that he definitely does not identify as gender fluid. He went on to confirm that he identifies as a man, not as both a man and a woman, and clarified what he meant when he said he uses both male and female pronouns.
“But what I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves… I was talking about men getting in touch with the female side of themselves,” said Williams.
So, it seems that Williams didn’t actually come out as gender-fluid, to the disappointment of many in the LGBTQ+ community. But he’s still one of the coolest guys out there, and his message about being true to both the masculine and feminine sides of the self is a message worthy of discussion.
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