Poet Kate Tempest comes out as non-binary and changes name

British poet Kate Tempest, 34, comes out as non-binary, revealing they’ve changed their name to Kae after years of ‘struggling to accept myself as I am’

  • Kae Tempest, 34, London, opened up about their pronouns in lengthy statement
  • In a lengthy social media statement the poet told they identify as non-binary 
  • Musician and author will be releasing their music and publishing books as Kae 

Poet Kate Tempest has revealed they have changed their name to Kae Tempest and come out as non-binary. 

Kae, 34, from London, revealed in a lengthy statement on Twitter, they have changed their pronouns from she/her to they/them, after ‘struggling to accept themselves for a long time’. 

The popular poet, who won the Ted Hughes Award for their work Brand New Ancients in 2013, announced they will be publishing books and releasing music from now on as Kae, and told that the decision was the ‘first step towards knowing and respecting themselves’ better after ‘hiding led to all kinds of difficulties in their life’. 

Kae, 34, from London, revealed in a lengthy statement on Twitter , they have changed their pronouns from she/her to they/them, after coming out as non-binary

The English spoken word performer, poet, recording artist, novelist and playwright, pictured at a festival last year, is known for their work on albums Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos

‘I’ve been struggling to accept myself as I am for a long time’, they penned, ‘I have tried to be what I thought others wanted me to be so as not to risk rejection. This hiding from myself has led to all kinds of difficulties in my life. 

‘And this is a first step towards knowing and respecting myself better. I’ve loved Kate. But I am beginning a process and hope you’ll come with me. From today – I will be publishing my books and releasing my music as Kae Tempest!’ 

Fans were quick to congratulate Kae, sending ‘love and solidarity’ while hailing them a ‘singularly inspiring voice’. 

‘Sending absolute love and solidarity Kae, wrote one, Ccan’t wait to hear (or read) what you do next. You are a singularly inspiring voice.’ 

In a lengthy social media statement, Kae told that the decision was the ‘first step towards knowing and respecting themselves’ better after ‘hiding led to all kinds of difficulties in their life’

Another wrote: ‘Congratulations, and best wishes! And thank you for the music, the poems the stories and the insights – may there be plenty more!’

A third said: ‘I’ve loved Kate, I’ll love Kae. That’s the good thing about unconditional love I guess, it doesn’t care so much about pronouns, it just is.’

The English spoken word performer, poet, recording artist, novelist and playwright, is known for their work on albums Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos, as well as their debut novel The Bricks That Built the Houses. 

The poet went on to say that while their announcement is personal, they felt it was in some ways ‘a public decision’ and sent love to all of their fans in ‘this great time of reckoning’. 

Fans were quick to congratulate Kae, sending ‘love and solidarity’ while hailing them a ‘singularly inspiring voice’

‘Funny because I know this is much more of a big deal than it is to anyone else’, they wrote, ‘but because of my role as an artist, it is in some ways a public decision as well as being a private one. So, here is my announcement.’ 

They went on: ‘Sending my love to you all and wishing you courage as you face whatever you must face today. 

‘This is a time of great reckoning. Privately, locally, globally. For me, the question is no longer ‘when will this change’ but ‘how far am I willing to go to meet the changes and bring them about in myself’. 

KAE’S FULL STATEMENT  

Hello old fans, new fans and passers by – I’m changing my name! And I’m changing my pronouns. From Kate to Kae. From she/her to they/them. 

I’ve been struggling to accept myself as I am for a long time. I have tried to be what I thought others wanted me to be so as not to risk rejection. This hiding from myself has led to all kinds of difficulties in my life. 

And this is a first step towards knowing and respecting myself better. I’ve loved Kate. But I am beginning a process and hope you’ll come with me. From today – I will be publishing my books and releasing my music as Kae Tempest! 

It’s pronounced like the letter K. It’s an old English word that means jay bird. Jays are associated with communication, curiosity, adaptation to new situations and COURAGE which is the name of the game at the moment.

It can also mean the jackdaw which is the bird that symbolises death and rebirth. Ovid said the jackdaw brought the rain. Which I love. It has its roots in the Latin word for rejoice, be glad and take pleasure. 

And I hope to live more that way each day. Funny because I know this is much more of a big deal than it is to anyone else, but because of my role as an artist, it is in some ways a public decision as well as being a private one. So, here is my announcement.’ 

Sending my love to you all and wishing you courage as you face whatever you must face today. This is a time of great reckoning. Privately, locally, globally. For me, the question is no longer ‘when will this change’ but ‘how far am I willing to go to meet the changes and bring them about in myself’. 

I want to live with integrity. And this is a step towards that. Sending LOVE always. 

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