Kate Tempest has announced that they have changed their name to Kae Tempest and declared themself as gender neutral.
Sharing the news on Facebook, the spoken word artist said that they have been “struggling to accept” themself for a long time, and that these changes are “a first step towards knowing and respecting myself better.”
“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,” they began their post. “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 I hope you’ll come with me.”
“From today – I will be publishing my books and releasing my music as Kae Tempest!” they continued, before explaining the meaning behind the name change. “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 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.”
Hello old fans, new fans and passers by – I’m changing my name! And I’m changing my pronouns. From Kate to Kae. From…
Tempest continued: “Funny because I know this is much more of a big deal to me than it is to anyone else, but because of my role as 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.”
Meanwhile, the nominations for this year’s Ivor Novellos, the most prestigious songwriting awards in the UK and Ireland, have been revealed, with Tempest being nominated alongside the likes of Stormzy, Dave, Nick Cave and Little Simz.
35 individual songwriters have been recognised across eight categories, including a brand new ‘Rising Star Award with Apple Music’.