Billy Dee Williams Comes Out as Gender-Fluid in Interview

Williams will appear in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” later this month.

Billy Dee Williams
Billy Dee Williams in 2013.
Pat Loika/Creative Commons

In a few weeks’ time, Billy Dee Williams will return to the role of Lando Calrissian in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It’s the first time Williams has played the character on film since The Empire Strikes Back; Donald Glover played a younger version of the character in 2018’s Solo. In a recent interview, the 82-year-old opened up about something unexpected.

Out reports that Williams came out as gender fluid in a conversation with Esquire, noting that he uses multiple pronouns when referring to himself. (Alternately: that she uses multiple pronouns when referring to herself.) “I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine,” Williams told the magazine.

The reaction from fans of the actor and of the Star Wars series has been overwhelmingly positive, with Entertainment Tonight collecting a good cross-section of the responses to Williams’s news.

This caps a host of news that expanded the way many people viewed both Williams and Williams’s most famous character. Last year, Solo screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan confirmed that Calrissian is pansexual, a take on the character that Glover supported wholeheartedly. 

Will this news frustrate the more reactionary element of the Star Wars fanbase? Almost certainly. The word “schadenfreude” comes to mind as a response.

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