Miriam Margolyes Credits Aussie Trans Actor For Changing Her Mind About Gender Neutral Pronouns

Miriam Margolyes Credits Aussie Trans Actor For Changing Her Mind About Gender Neutral Pronouns
Image: Miriam Margolyes.

Miriam Margolyes revealed that Australian trans non-binary actor Zoe Terakes helped change her mind about using gender-neutral pronouns. 

Margolyes was on The Graham Norton Show to talk about her new book Oh Miriam: Stories from an Extraordinary Life

Margolyes expressed her solidarity with the trans community. She some people would say, “we mustn’t talk about trans, but “f*#k that, I’m going to talk about it”. 


Her fellow guest Boy George asked her whether her opinions changed at 82. Margolyes responded that her views did change and gave the example of gender-neutral pronouns. 

Margolyes recalled a conversation that she had with Australian actor Zoe Terakes about the usage of gender-neutral pronouns. 

In 2022, Terakes joined the cast of the upcoming Disney+ series Ironheart, becoming the first out trans non-binary actor to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

“I was very keen on grammar,” Margolyes said about her reluctance to use gender-neutral pronouns. “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.”

Margolyes said Terakes told her, “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! So I am now, somebody who uses ‘they’ and the rest of it. Whatever they want me to say, I say it.”

Zoe Terakes. Image: Instagram

Margoyles Views On Trans Persons

Last year, Margolyes received flak for saying the anger against author J K Rowling for her views on trans people was “misplaced”. 

In her 2020 documentary Almost Australian, Margolyes met a group of First Nations transgender women  ‘Sistergirls’ from the Tiwi Islands. Margolyes asks the groups some insensitive questions about their appearance before the group explains their attitude towards gender. 

Margolyes admits her mistake and apologises to the group. “I should know that it’s not what you look like outside, it’s who you are and how you feel… I apologise, now I understand.”

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