Like Suzy Eddie Izzard, it took me decades to truly embrace my gender. It’s not a race

Trans actor and comedian Suzy Eddie Izzard wears a dark shirt and dark jacket as she smiles for the camera at an event

As trans comedian Suzy Eddie Izzard reintroduces herself to the world, a non-binary person who came out aged 40 explains how there’s never a wrong time to come out.

Comedian and actor Suzy Eddie Izzard has been open about her transness since the 80s, but in recent years her identity has evolved.

In 2020, Izzard began using ‘she/her’ pronouns publicly, announcing that she would be “based in girl mode from now on”.  Aged 61, the performer shared a new name, Suzy, with the world, and the trans community celebrated her for proving “it’s never too late to be happy”.

A frequent misconception is that a person should start socially or medically transitioning within a certain age range, but coming out as trans “isn’t a race”, Mike, who recently came out as non-binary, tells PinkNews.

Trans actor Suzy Eddie Izzard wears dark clothing as she sits in front of a dark background
Fans, LGBTQ+ advocates and allies praised Suzy Eddie Izzard for sharing the latest milestone in her journey, proving “it’s never too late to be happy”. (Getty)

Mike came out about five months after turning 40, and says that figuring yourself out often takes time and patience.

“I felt for a long time that I wanted to experiment more with how I was presenting, etc, and then I was like: ‘Oh, I may be non-binary,'” they tell PinkNews.

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“Then I was chatting to a friend on social media and said: ‘I have come to the realisation that the only thing that stopped me coming out as non-binary is that I hadn’t told my husband.'”

As soon as Mike told their husband, “he was really supportive”, which empowered them to explore their identity.

“I first came out with the pronouns ‘he/they’, and the message I got out to friends and family was: ‘I don’t know where this journey is going to take me. I’m at the very beginning of this journey. You may have questions, but I don’t necessarily have the answers. I’m still figuring that out.'”

Mike says being made redundant last year turned out to be a “blessing” because they’ve been able to spend time getting to know themself better. It’s been a journey, they say, in “finding that balance of not having regrets”. 

A person holds up a sign in the colours of the non-binary flag (yellow, white, purple and black) with the words "No gender? No problem"
Mike, who came out as non-binary after turning 40, said it’s important for people coming out later in life to remember that the “answer came to you when you’re ready for it”. (Getty)

“There’s a part of me where I wish I’d come out in my 20s, and I feel I would have been able to be myself,” they say. “I look back at my 20s, and I know that I wasn’t a happy person.” 

“Now that I kind of have this answer or a certain part of the puzzle, it’s kind of…,” Mike begins, sighing. “What others have said to me is you’ve got to think of it as that answer came to you when you’re ready for it.

“You’re mature enough now to explore and be open to that exploration. It’s me making the most of it. I may be 40, but I can still wear a crop top and a mini skirt.”

For Mike, the biggest lesson learned has been that coming out “isn’t a race” – it’s a journey that people take at “our own pace”. 

“We’re all going to have things we’re more comfortable with exploring than others, and I always remind [myself] there’s no right or wrong way to be non-binary,” they say.

“A lot of people come to this thing of ‘Why are you putting labels on things’, and I see it as that label helps you understand yourself a bit more – and that’s a good thing.”

They continue: “I still call myself gay. I still call myself a husband because that still suits me. No one can question that because that’s what I feel comfortable with and what I feel is right for me. 

“So the message for others is to be patient with yourself and trust your own mind and not what other people are expecting non-binary people to be.”