Billy Dee Williams: Star Wars Legend Comes Out as Gender Fluid

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As excitement (and nervousness) mount in the buildup to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the stars are doing press tours.

Billy Dee Williams is of course no stranger to Star Wars, and is being celebrated after coming out as gender fluid in a recent interview.

Billy Dee Williams and Artoo

As part of his press tour, Billy Dee Williams sat down for an interview with Esquire.

"I never tried to be anything except myself," Williams affirmed.

That is true. He's known for his authenticity. Many actors cannot say the same.

He expressed: "I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself too seriously."

Billy Dee Williams Image

"You see I say 'himself' and 'herself,'" Williams began to explain.

He elaborated: "because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine."

"I'm a very soft person," Williams noted, making reference to his sensitivities.

He added: "I'm not afraid to show that side of myself."

Donald Glover

At this point, the interviewer pointed out that Donald Glover had discussed the fluidity of gender and gender roles just a few years ago.

Notably, this was as part of the buildup to Glover's role as young Lando Calrissian in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the same role that Williams plays.

"Really?" Williams responded, lighting up. "That kid is brilliant - just look at those videos."

Williams was, of course, referring to Glover's famous "This Is America" video.

Y-Wings Are Back in Star Wars

Billy Dee Williams will be reprising his role in Episode IX as Lando, the charming gambler and swindler who joined the Rebel Alliance.

It is believed that his role was either created or at least enlarged in the film after the passing of the late, great Carrie Fisher.

Williams has already reprised this role in recent years, playing an older Lando in Battlefront II.

While many were disappointed by the single-player story's sharp turn from what marketing had suggested, the acting in it was exemplary.

Billy Dee Williams Photo

So what does "genderfluid" mean, exactly?

(And yes, it is one word -- "gender fluid" sounds like a liquid that would erupt from a volcano cake at one of those ridiculous gender reveal parties)

Very simply, someone who is genderfluid does not view themselves as having a fixed gender.

Some people go back and forth between two or more favorite colors. Others go back and forth among two or more genders.

Billy Dee Williams and Emma Slater

Notably, Williams also notes that he occassionally uses different pronouns for himself -- both he/him pronouns and she/her pronouns.

Pronouns are not the same thing as gender, of course, but they are often related, and Williams really spells out that relationship in his interview.

Scores of genderfluid fans of Star Wars have taken to social media to celebrate his coming out.

There are plenty of bigots who try with all of their might to pretend that only young people refuse to twist themselves into a cisgender binary.

Rise of Skywalker Title Card

We still don't know the details on what role Williams will play in Episide IX, but fans are excited ... and nervous.

The Last Jedi was not a particularly good movie, though unfortunately the most vocal people saying so feel this way for all of the wrong reasons.

Hopes are high that Episode IX will be more enjoyable. It's great having a live-action woman wielding the Force on screen.

Maybe, this time, it will be in a movie that's good in other areas. If not, though, at least we'll have Sheev Palpatine making a comeback.

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