Miriam Margolyes says trans actor helped change her mind about gender neutral pronouns
Miriam Margoyles said a conversation with a trans actor about gender neutral pronouns helped her realise how they can “make somebody happy”.
The national icon appeared on The Graham Norton Show on Friday (3 November) to not only discuss her new book, Oh Miriam: Stories from an Extraordinary Life, but to also take some time to share her love for the trans community.
Margoyles said some people will say that “we mustn’t talk about trans”, but “f**k that” she was going to talk about it.
Specifically, she wanted to speak about an eye-opening conversation she had with Australian actor Zoe Terakes, who made history as the first out trans actor to be cast in a key role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, about pronouns.
Miriam Margoyles said the chat helped her realise that using they/them pronouns can make all the difference to someone else.
“I was very keen on grammar,” the actor said.
“So when people started talking about ‘them’ instead of ‘he/she’, I thought, ‘What the f**k? It’s clear. It’s grammar. It’s the structure of language.’
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“[Terakes] had a discussion with me about it, and she said: ‘What does it matter to you? If you can make somebody happy by calling them they instead of he or she, why not do it?’
“And I thought, that’s right! It doesn’t matter about grammar!
“If you can make someone happy and give them a sense of themselves, then do it!”
Miriam Margoyles also opened up about a new milestone she’s reached with her longtime partner, Heather Sutherland.
The pair have been in a relationship since they first met in the 1960s while working on a BBC radio drama, but they’ve never actually lived together.
In the past, Margoyles said living apart was one of the factors behind their lasting relationship, saying they wanted to “lead [their] lives without diminishing them” and that she didn’t want Sutherland to “have to give up anything”.
However, now, the Harry Potter star said the pair want to live together because it’s “silly to live apart”.
“I really do want to live with her because we are old, and we haven’t got much time left,” she said. “It is silly to live apart.”
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