The artist formerly known as Kate Tempest has changed their name to Kae and their gender pronouns from “she/her” to “they/them”.
The spoken word performer and rapper announced the news on Twitter on Thursday (6 August), telling their followers: “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 added: “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.”
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Tempest will be releasing books and music as Kae Tempest from now on.
Kae, they explained, is an old English word that means jay bird, a creature associated with courage.
Literary figures were quick to praise Tempest for their announcement. “Thank you for sharing this with us! All the best x,” tweeted Reni Eddo-Lodge.
“Much much love, Kae,” added Candice Carty Williams.
Tempest was named a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society and their albums Everybody Down and Let Them Eat Chaos have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
They also won the Ted Hughes Award for their play Brand New Ancients in 2013. They are the joint top nominee at the Ivor Novellos this year, with a nomination for album of the year, for The Book of Traps and Lessons.