Kae Tempest has changed their name and pronouns after "struggling to accept" themselves
The 34-year-old poet and performer - who was formerly known as Kate - had always feared "rejection" but now wants to "know and respect" themself better
10 August 2020
Alongside a new professional snap on Twitter, they wrote: "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.
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"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!"
Kae also opened up on the origins of their new name, and explained the decision to open up so publicly about the change.
They added: "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."