For legendary Star Wars actor Billy Dee Williams, both he/him and she/her pronouns work every time.
Billy Dee Williams has long been best known for his role as the space smuggler, Lando Calrissian of the Star Wars franchise, and just in general as one of the coolest people in the galaxy. Now he can add LGBTQ role model to his lengthy list of accomplishments.
Williams came out this week as gender fluid in an interview with Esquire Magazine. The 82-year-old actor who is also well known for his roles in Brian’s Song, Mahogany, and Batman, noted that he uses both masculine and feminine pronouns interchangeably.
“I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine,” Williams told Esquire in an interview. “I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself. 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.”
Just further proves that he really is the real life version of Calrissian. In an interview with Out Magazine, Williams added that he could not be happier at the LGBTQ aspects of Donald Glover’s portrayal of his famous character in the prequel film, Solo. When told that Glover saw Calrissian as pansexual, he had to agree.
“Really? That kid is brilliant — just look at those videos,” Williams said.
When asked if there is a future for more of Calrissian as the Star Wars film franchise continues to move forward and expand, Williams responded that it would depend on whether the money as right. Which is, naturally, the most Lando answer he could give.
Williams will always be a fixture and groundbreaker in the sci-fi community. From breaking down racial stereotypes and creating room for complex black characters in mostly white spaces to now bringing more LGBTQ representation to the genre on top of that, Williams is the role model and icon we always needed. We need to respect him — or her — for all of the work he has done and doors that have been opened for the generations that have followed him.
Top Photo via Lucasfilm