Art & Entertainment

Lily Gladstone Considers Using She/They Pronouns A Way Of 'Decolonising Gender'

The 'Killers of the Flower Moon' star Lily Gladstone has opened up about how using she/they pronouns is connected to her Indigenous background and "partly a way of decolonising gender".

Lily Gladstone
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The 'Killers of the Flower Moon' star Lily Gladstone has opened up about how using she/they pronouns is connected to her Indigenous background and "partly a way of decolonising gender".

The actress, who was raised on the Blackfeet Nation reservation in Montana by a father of Blackfeet and Nimiipuu heritage and a white mother, said that "in most Native languages, most Indigenous languages, Blackfeet included, there are no gendered pronouns, reports 'The Hollywood Reporter'.

She told 'People' magazine, "There is no he/she, there’s only they." And within the Blackfeet community specifically, Gladstone said, "we don't have gendered pronouns, but our gender is implied in our name."

"Even that's not binary," Gladstone added, explaining how a grandfather had a Blackfeet name that meant 'Iron Woman'. He had a name that had a woman's name in it. I'd never met my grandfather. I wouldn't say that he was nonbinary in gender, but he was given a woman's name because he kind of carried himself, I guess, the way that women who have that name do".

She further mentioned, quoted by 'The Hollywood Reporter', "And there were lots of women historically and still now who are given men's names. They fulfill more of a man's role in society as far as being provider, warrior, those sort of things."

Speaking about personal pronoun preferences, Gladstone said, "My pronoun use is partly a way of decolonising gender for myself." Beyond that, Gladstone said the she/they pronouns is a way of the performer "embracing that when I'm in a group of ladies, I know that I'm a little bit different. When I'm in a group of men, I don't feel like a man. I don't feel (masculine) at all. I probably feel more feminine when I'm around other men".

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