Eddie Izzard has announced that she uses the pronouns she and her, following an appearance on the Sky Arts’ Portrait Artist of the Year programme.
During the show, competitors paint various famous faces in order to bag the prize, and last week Izzard sat for artist Curtis Holder.
Izzard said, “I try to do things that I think are interesting, and this is the first programme I’ve asked if I can be she and her. The transition period.”
When Holder asked how she felt about using the pronouns, Izzard said, “Well it feels great, because people just assume that they know me from before but I’m gender fluid.
“I just want to be based in girl mode from now on.”
Izzard added that the pronouns felt “very positive” and said, “One life, live it well.”
In a 2019 interview with Windy City Times, a Chicago LGBTQ publication, Izzard had also spoken about her gender fluidity and her different “modes.”
She said, “I have boy mode and girl mode. I am kind of gender fluid. I want to express both sides of myself, which has always been there.
“I am a tomboy and tomgirl kind of person.”
‘This makes me feel seen’
The news regarding Izzard’s pronouns has garnered the comic a lot of praise online, with many pleased that she is doing what is right for her.
Fellow comic and writer, Shappi Khorsandi, tweeted, “Morning! I see Eddie Izzard is trending. I can’t tell you what she means to me as a comic. Rocked my comedy world when I was a teen and beyond. Changed everything, made room. I love her and this morning I’m very happy for her.”
Writer Shon Faye, also wrote, “Good for Eddie Izzard asking for the pronouns she/her to be used so publicly. As far as I can gather, she isn’t a trans woman - she’s gender fluid - but prefers the feminine pronoun. Good for her.”
Another Twitter user wrote, “It brings me a lot of comfort seeing #EddieIzzard, someone with a traditionally masculine name, use exclusively she/her pronouns. Names don’t have genders and pronouns don’t indicate gender, but as someone with a feminine name who’s pronouns are they/them, this makes me feel seen.”
“I’m delighted that #EddieIzzard is allowing herself to be herself and speaking as a very gay and middle aged woman, I’m fine with that. I do find the online sniping and vicious digs at her and who she is, unpleasant and upsetting. Let people be who they really are,” wrote another.
What does ‘gender fluid’ mean?
Writing for Harvard Heath Publishing, Sabra L Katz-Wise explains what gender fluid means in a blog post titled ‘Gender fluidity: What it means and why support matters.’
Katz-Wise explains that, in order to understand gender fluidity, you must first understand what cisgender means. Cisgender refers to a person whose gender identity matches their assigned gender at birth.
“Gender fluidity refers to change over time in a person’s gender expression or gender identity, or both,” says Katz-Wise.
This change could come in the form of expression but not identity, or identity but not expression. Equally, both expression and identity could change together.
Katz-Wise says, “Gender fluidity may be a way to explore gender before landing on a more stable gender expression or identity. For others, gender fluidity may continue indefinitely as part of their life experience with gender.”
As an identity, gender fluidity typically comes under the transgender and nonbinary umbrella.
“Not everyone who experiences changes in their gender expression or identity identifies as gender-fluid,” Katz-Wise explains.
“Nor does everyone desire gender-affirming medical treatment to change their body to better align with their gender identity.”