Billy Dee Williams Did Not Come Out As Gender Fluid

Billy Dee Williams speaking with attendees at the 2019 Phoenix Fan Fusion at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. / Image via Gage Skidmore (CC)

Star Wars’ Billy Dee Williams wants the world to know that he did not come out as gender fluid.

A couple of days ago, the internet was abuzz with the news of Williams’ words in an interview with Esquire. In it, the actor talked about how he is comfortable being himself and expressing the feminine side of his being.

“I never tried to be anything except myself. I think of myself as a relatively colorful character who doesn’t take himself or herself seriously… And you see I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine,” the actor explained. “I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself.”

However, media sources incorrectly interpreted that as Williams’ coming out as gender fluid. The actor thus had to clarify that this wasn’t the case while talking to The Undefeated.

“Well, first of all, I asked last night. I said, ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’ That’s a whole new term,” Williams told The Undefeated. “But what I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves.”

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He added:

“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.”

After being asked by the news source, Billy Dee Williams then clarified that he identifies as a man and 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,” he said.

Sources: The Undefeated, Esquire,

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