Killers Of The Flower Moon’s Lily Gladstone Opens Up About Preferred Pronouns And Thoughts On Gendered Award Categories

Lily Gladstone’s chilling performance in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon has made the talent a frontrunner during the 2024 award season set to honor the best achievements in film from the 2023 movie release schedule. Ahead of the Oscars this spring, Gladstone is entering the ongoing conversation about gendered award categories, as the actor discusses her own preferred pronouns. 

In this year’s Best Actress race, Gladstone’s performance in Killers of the Flower Moon (one of our voted best movies of 2023) seems to currently be neck-and-neck with Emma Stone’s work in Poor Things. As we await Hollywood to make its selections this season with award shows like the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and the Oscars, Lily Gladstone weighed in with their personal relationship with gender. 

Check This:  ‘Love, Simon’ TV Series Moves from Disney+ to Hulu Over “Adult Themes”

Why Lily Gladstone Prefers She/They Pronouns

When Lily Gladstone recently spoke to People, the actor expressed feeling comfortable with being referred to with both “she” and “they” pronouns. When discussing why, the Killers of the Flower Moon star shared how it stems from her background growing up on the Blackfeet Nation reservation. In their words: 

So Blackfeet, we don’t have gendered pronouns, but our gender is implied in our name. But even that’s not binary… 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. So, yeah, my pronoun use is partly a way of decolonizing gender for myself.

As Gladstone shared, in the Blackfeet Nation, gender is not classified in the binary of simply male and female as many see it. Lily Gladstone, who grew up on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana for the first ten years of her life, went on to explain that in most Indigeneous languages, rather than identifying others as “he” or “she,” “they” is used to distinguish all people. As Gladstone continued: 

I remember being nine years old and just being a little disheartened, seeing how often a lot of my boy cousins were misgendered because they wore their hair long. It happens to a lot of kids, I think, especially Native boys leaving a community where long hair is celebrated [and then] just kind of getting teased for it. So I remember back then being like, everybody should just be they. And in most Native languages, most Indigenous languages, Blackfeet included, there are no gendered pronouns. There is no he/she, there’s only they.

Gladstone shared that her grandfather’s Blackfeet name meant “Iron Woman,” because of the way “he kind of carried himself” along with saying that “lots of women” in the Blackfeet Nation are given men’s names if they fulfill “more of a man’s role in society as far as being a provider, warrior” and such. To Gladstone, their chosen pronouns is a way of “decolonizing gender” for themselves. 

The Killers Of The Flower Moon Star Shares Thoughts On Gendered Award Categories 

With Gladstone’s gender identity in mind, the Killers of the Flower Moon actor also weighed in a growing Hollywood conversation about whether award shows should be gendered. They explained,

I think it’s really cool that we’re seeing ‘performer’ and we’re seeing everybody brought in together. I do feel that historically having gendered categories has helped from keeping women actors from a lot of erasure because I think historically people just tend to honor male performances more. I know a lot of actresses who are very proud of the word ‘actress’ or are very proud of being an actress. I don’t know, maybe it’s just an overly semantic thing where I’m like, if there’s not a ‘director-ess,’ then there shouldn’t be actresses. There’s no ‘producer-ess,’ there’s no ‘cinematographer-ess.’

Gladstone makes some solid points. Whereas she appreciates some of the expansion outside of the gender binary with titles like “performer,” they also understand the problems if “actress” was taken out of the industries category because it could alienate those who take pride in being called the title and lead to “erasure” of women at award shows. It’s certainly a layered topic that we imagine the filmmaking industry will continue to discuss for years to come. 

You can now rent or buy Killers of the Flower Moon on digital and get an AppleTV+ subscription in anticipation for the movie soon coming to the streaming service (at an unknown date).  


What do you think?

1.2k Points
Upvote Downvote

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *