In the past week, we saw varying perceptions of Billy Dee. The man who played Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back, recently said that he refers to himself in male and female pronouns. And caused a lot of confusion as to what he really meant by what he said.
To many, it seemed like the 82-year-old celebrity is trying to come out as a non-binary individual. Since the LGBT+ community and most others understand pronouns as gender identity.
But how wrong were we!
Billy Dee: That’s Not What I’m Saying
It all began with an interview with Esquire. And Billy Dee Williams made a few comments that were very easily mistakable for gender-fluidity. But Billy Dee cleared the air and confessed that he does not even know what “gender-fluid” means.
The actor has been in a lot of big Hollywood productions in the past fifty years and has seen a fair share of success throughout the time. But when he said that he uses multiple sets of pronouns to address himself, we all got a little lost in translation.
Here’s exactly what he said in the Esquire interview,
“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.”
Not only are we aware of the LGBT+ community, but we also understand that many people find it difficult to say what they internally understand their gender and sexuality. But Billy Dee’s statement was such a hilarious mix-up that helps us understand gender expression and gender identity. Both of which have a wide spectrum.
So what exactly did he mean?
As it turns out, Billy Dee is a reader. A reader who knows and understands the concepts of Carl Jung. An analytic psychologist who was a contemporary of Freud. Jung and Freud had varying ideas of gender and sexuality. The Undefeated questioned Dee about the confusion and he obliged.
“Well, first of all, I asked last night. I said, ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’ That’s a whole new term,”.
And then Dee clarified what he was actually referring to.
“But what I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves,” Williams said. “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.”
Carl Jung and the LGBT+ community
He followed that up “No, no, no, I’m not gay — by any stretch of the imagination. Not that I have anything against gay people. But personally? Not gay”.
Somehow, it seems like Billy Dee and the rest of the world are constantly on different pages. According to LGBTQ Nation, he also mixed up gender identity and sexual orientation. And here’s evidence.
“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.”
Aye aye aye, the confusion. We need to read Jung to understand what Billy Dee is talking about, and he should probably understand that being gay is not a sexual identity, but rather a sexual orientation. Not just that, he also manages to follow it up with something pretty vague.
The 82-year-old stated that he identifies as “a very cute man”. Billy Dee, what?
Het Cis Identity
We still are not very sure if Billy Dee understands what LGBT+ means in all of its nuances. We are not sure if we have finally understood him clearly. But we are glad to know that we have attained clarity somewhere down the line of events. Billy Dee Williams is straight. He is a cisgender man who uses different pronouns to refer to himself. But he identifies as a straight man.
Sex, Sexual Identity and Gender-Fluidity
A lot of people seem to be using these words haywire and interchangeably, there is a set definition of each word. As the Undefeated pointed out, “Williams made a common mistake in attaching gender fluidity to sexual orientation.”
People who do not identify to any fixed gender refer to themselves as gender fluid. And many of them prefer to use the pronouns they or zim as an alternative to “he” or “she”. “They” was introduced as a pronoun into the dictionary recently as well.