Billy Dee Williams made headlines this week after telling Esquire he uses both masculine and feminine pronouns, but after seeing how the comments were interpreted, he has one question: “What the hell is gender fluid?”
The 82-year-old Star Wars actor dispelled the idea that he’d come out as gender-fluid, explaining to The Undefeated “what [he] 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.”
Williams mistakenly linked the ideas of gender and sexual orientation, driving home the point that he’s straight:
“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.”
Williams first played Lando Calrissian 1980’s Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. He is reprising the role in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which will be released later this month.
Who really gives a shit? At his age he should be preparing for the end. Not worrying whether people might think you’re gay.
I was just going to write pretty much the same thing. Who the hell cares?
I agree with you Miss ChrissyK.
Remarkably ageist comment. With any luck you will be there some day and then you will realize what an AasssWhole you are. But then you’ll be too busy preparing to croak.
The problem here is less about an 80+ year old man’s confusion with the modern narrative around gender and more with how quickly people (mainly, media) like to rush to slap labels on to people based on a off-hand comment. And it’s not about welcoming anyone into the “family.” It’s about clicks and sensationalism.
You can’t have a conversation now in the most general or basic terms without being labeled. When I was growing up and coming out; my understanding of what we were fighting for was that it didn’t matter what you were. It WAS about basic human rights and the understanding that you could not paint humanity or any segment of it with a broad brush. You could be gay and truly masculine and a straight woman and have very masculine traits and vice versa. Just because you are a straight guy who likes to design dresses or play with dolls, it doesn’t make you suddenly not a straight man. You’re just an interesting person.
The conversation wasn’t about creating a hundred different categories to fit in; but that those categories didn’t matter and you didn’t have to fit into any of them. I personally believe labels should be utilized only in the most general of terms. I am gay man. That tells other gay men that may be sexually interested in me that I’m potentially open to a sexual or romantic relationship with them; and that’s as far as it really needs to go. It shouldn’t determine what isles of the department store I shop down or determine what occupations I can pursue or what car I can drive.
Amen Brother, that is an excellent post. Thanks
That’s an overall issue. People are quick to attach identities to folks and quick politicize folks’ sense of self, lifestyle, sexual experiences, sex lives, love lives. Social media has helped to some degree. But it’s also been very problematic.
@Charlieeod74 – Thanks!
@Donston – Exactly! It’s maddening!
Representation matters. Seeing a Black gender fluid man matters. He was misunderstood (which is fine), but let’s not say that labels don’t matter. Visibility is important across the board.
@jasentylar Ya know, I’m just going to say it. I’m not saying labels don’t matter…I’m saying a hundred labels don’t matter. There are far too many categories that, to me, are extremely hard to justify as their own separate label/category. And it seems another one pops up everyday. You’re a straight, cisgender guy who sleeps with women, but occasionally likes to paint his nails and wear a skirt…fine. I don’t think that necessarily makes you gender fluid. It’s just another way to classify people as other. I thought was what the Q stood for. Now we’re on the verge of having the entire alphabet describe us.
Completely makes sense and what I originally thought.
This, as with almost everything these days, was a media creation.
But BDW is correct: Gender fluidity . . . wtf, but not as b.s. as sexually fluid, which is a total fantasy.
What? The man who never claimed to be genderfluid isn’t genderfluid? I’m SHOCKED!
You know, just once I would like to see Queerty acknowledge or apologize for running one of their wildly off base articles, that they later have to correct with an article like this one. For a website that demands as much self flagellation from people who have “wronged” the gay community in some way (such as today’s Mayor Pete/Salvation Army article), they sure as hell don’t ever take responsibility for their own irresponsible spreading of false information.
For me, running retractions gives a media outlet more credibility. Failing to run retractions is a signal the media outlet isn’t serious about what it’s doing. And, yeah. I don’t think any rational person actually thought he meant he was gender fluid – a term which always makes me think of soppy privates.
Gender fluid is nonsense – case in point. Just like queer is a meaningless word now.
Comments are closed.