Miriam Margolyes on Good Morning Britain in 2021
Miriam Margolyes has made a plea for solidarity with the transgender and gender non-conforming communities during a new interview.
The Bafta winner is currently on the promo trail for her new book Oh Miriam!, and recently sat with the Irish Examiner to discuss her memoir.
During the interview, the 83-year-old – who came out as a lesbian in the late 1960s – shared that as a devotee of grammar, she was initially a little troubled when it came to referring to people by singular “they/them” pronouns.
“I love grammar so much, so to call a singular a plural somehow irked me,” she admitted.
However, she had a change of heart after learning more about why certain people prefer said pronouns, adding: “Someone explained to me that it mattered, and I thought, if you can make someone happy by calling them ‘they’, then do it! It’s not hard.
“We do have to stand up and be courageous. It’s easier for me. I’m not afraid to speak up and I have a fierce sense of morality. And I think the people who run us, the politicians, and the people who inform us, the newspaper owners — they are all liars.”
It’s worth pointing out that the first recorded use of the singular “they” dates back to the 14th century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.
Miriam at Letters Live in 2016
Miriam has previously been vocal in her support for the trans community in recent years.
The former Harry Potter star told The Times in 2020: “[JK Rowling] has a rather conservative view of transgender people. I don’t think I do.
“I can’t make it out. It’s a matter of personal happiness for people and I think that’s what you should concentrate on.”
Meanwhile, in her 2020 documentary Almost Australian, Miriam met with a group of indigenous trans women from the Tiwi Islands known as the “Sistergirls”.
After initially making some rather blunt comments about their appearances and genitalia, the women explained their attitude towards gender to Miriam, to which she explained: ““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.”
She later hailed the meeting as “extraordinary”, although some critics voiced the opinion that the scene in question could have been handled with more sensitivity.
In the past, Miriam has also expressed sympathy for JK Rowling, saying the backlash against the author over her comments about transgender people is “misplaced”.
While promoting her new book, Miriam has made headlines on a number of occasions, including when she passed comment about Phillip Schofield’s This Morning exit and had some less-than-glowing feedback for some of her past co-stars.
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