Miriam Margolyes shares her ‘Aha’ moment on inclusive pronouns

Miriam Margolyes
Miriam Margolyes (Image: BBC)

Miriam Margolyes has shared the conversation that changed her view when it comes to using people’s preferred pronouns.

The 82-year-old national treasure appeared on The Graham Norton Show on Friday (3 November) alongside Succession‘s Sarah Snook, The Morning Show‘s Greta Lee, and Boy George.

In a discussion about opinions and saying what’s on your mind, in which Boy George claimed “I feel like I’m one of the last people left with an opinion, in my business,” Margolyes addressed her previous attitude towards inclusive pronouns such as ‘they’ and ‘them’.

“It doesn’t matter” – Miriam Margolyes

In her typical brash manner, Margoyles disregarded people’s warnings not to discuss trans issues, as she reflected that people could change their opinions.

“I was very keen on grammar,” she started. “And so when people started talking about pronouns and that they wanted ‘them ‘ and not ‘he,’ ‘she’, I thought what the f*** are people talking about? It’s clear, it’s grammar, it’s the structure of language.”

The Harry Potter star then recounted meeting trans actor Zoe Terakes with whom she discussed pronouns. Margolyes relayed that Terakes had asked 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?”

This, it would seem gay Margolyes pause after which she concluded: “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!” eliciting cheers from the audience and agreement from her fellow talk show guests.

Discussing with Norton about being open and listening to people when they take issue with something she has said Margolyes opined “You should be,” and that “it’s wonderful to do that.”

Margolyes is currently promoting her new book Oh Miriam: Stories from an Extraordinary Life. She will next be seen in Doctor Who as the voice of Meep.

The Graham Norton Show is streaming in the BBC iPlayer.

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