He was talking about being in touch with his masculine and feminine sides.
People were perplexed just days ago when it was reported that legendary actor Billy Dee Williams suddenly shared that he identifies as gender fluid. The 82-year-old is hailed as a sex symbol for his roles in films like Lady Sings the Blues and Mahogany, and it shocked the public when the revelation made the media rounds. However, it seems that people may have gotten ahead of themselves.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
In an interview with Esquire, Williams said, "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." He added, "You see I say ‘himself’ and ‘herself,’ because I also see myself as feminine as well as masculine. I’m a very soft person. I’m not afraid to show that side of myself."
The comments circulated on social media so Williams decided to clarify what he meant with The Undefeated. "Well, first of all, I asked last night. I said, ‘What the hell is gender fluid?’ That’s a whole new term,” the actor shared. "But what I 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."
Williams continued on with his explanation, sharing that people misinterpreted what he was trying to communicate. "So, that’s what I was referring to. I was talking about men getting in touch with the female side of themselves," he stated. "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.”
He also made it clear that he doesn't have a problem with anyone's sexual preferences, but he's "not gay — by any stretch of the imagination." It should be noted that gender identity, gender fluidity, and sexual orientation are related, yet separate.