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Star Wars Star Billy Dee Williams Says He’s Not Gender Fluid

by : Julia Banim on : 01 Dec 2019 09:48
Star Wars Star Billy Dee Williams Comes Out As Gender FluidStar Wars Star Billy Dee Williams Comes Out As Gender FluidLucasfilm/PA

Star Wars legend Billy Dee Williams has announced he uses both male and female pronouns, embracing both his masculine and feminine sides.

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The 82-year-old actor – best known for playing Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars franchise – has opened up about his own identity and views on gender during an inspiring interview with Esquire, where he stressed the importance of staying true to who you are.

Williams also addressed the gender identity and sexuality of Lando, who has previously been described as pansexual by Solo: A Star Wars Story screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan.

Billy Dee WilliamsBilly Dee WilliamsPA

Discussing his ideas of identity with Esquire, Williams said:

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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.

[…] 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.

After being told Donald Glover – who portrayed a young Lando in Solo – regarded the beloved character to be gender fluid, Williams reportedly lit up, stating:

Really? That kid is brilliant—just look at those videos.

Last year, Solo screenwriter Kasdan confirmed the character of Lando was pansexual during an interview with HuffPost, stating:

There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee Williams’ [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality. I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie.

I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.

Since his interview with Esquire, Williams has expounded further his ideas on identity and his own sexuality, in an interview with The Undefeated, where he revealed ‘gender fluid’ was ‘a whole new term’ to him.

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Clarifying a few things, Williams explained:

But what I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves. There’s a phrase that was coined by Carl G. Jung, who was a psychiatrist, who was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud, and they had a splitting of the ways because they had different ideas about the… what do you call it? Consciousness. Unconscious. It’s collective unconsciousness. But he coined a phrase that’s, ‘Anima animus.’ And anima means that is the female counterpart of the male self, and the animus is the male counterpart of the female.

So, that’s what I was referring to. I was talking about men getting in touch with the female side of themselves. I wasn’t talking about sex, I wasn’t talking about being gay or straight. People should read [Jung]. I mean, it would be an interesting education for a lot of people.

Bill Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in Star WarsBill Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian in Star WarsLucasfilm

While Williams said he sometimes uses both male and female pronouns, he also clarified he isn’t non-binary or gender-fluid, saying he identifies as a man and is heterosexual, adding: ‘Not that I have anything against gay people. But personally? Not gay.’

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence contact the LGBT Foundation on 0345 3 30 30 30, 9am until 9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am until 6pm Saturday, Or email [email protected]

Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, Billy Dee Williams, Donald Glover, Gender Fluid, Lando Calrissian, Non-binary, Star Wars

Credits

Esquire and 2 others
  1. Esquire

    The Enduring, Intergalactic Cool of Billy Dee Williams

  2. The Huffington Post

    'Star Wars' Writer Confirms Donald Glover's Character Is Pansexual In 'Solo'

  3. The Undefeated

    Billy Dee Williams: ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’