Eddie Izzard has said those who object to her using female gender pronouns should just “relax, sit down, and have a cup of tea”.
The 58-year-old comedian and actor, who has been openly transgender since 1985, prompted an extreme reaction on social media in December 2020 after requesting she be referred to using “she” and “her”.
Izzard told ITV News: “Now, I've used ‘she’ and ‘her’ before, but that was the day when everyone kind of went crazy on it.
"A lot of people were supportive and some people were very miffed – but I think those people should just relax, sit down, and have a cup of tea."
The political activist and marathon runner has previously referred to herself as “a lesbian trapped in a man’s body” and has cross-dressed for stand-up performances since beginning her comedy career in the 80s.
Izzard said: "I've been out for 35 years, I came out in 1985. I have boy mode and girl mode and I see it as a superhero kind of thing.
"I'm gender-fluid but I was in girl mode and I sat down and they said 'what pronouns would you like?' And I said 'well, she and her would be great'.
"They used them, the show was seen, a lot of people saw the show, and it went viral around the world."
Izzard went on to say she did not understand the public vitriol directed at the transgender community from those who objected to their lifestyle.
She said: "If it's not affecting someone, then why do you need to lean in and stop other people just trying to create a little space for themselves to be positive.
"This is not an attacking thing, this is just existing."
Izzard – who in the past identified as a transvestite – has previously said she knew she was transgender since she was a child.
She was in a long-term relationship with the British singer, director and producer Sarah Townsend after meeting at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1989 and they are still friends.
Izzard said in 2018: “I would love to have kids one day, but I am trying to work out how to do that.”
Watch: Eddie Izzard finishes running a marathon a day for 31 days