The spoken word performer and rapper formerly known as Kate Tempest has announced that they have changed their name to Kae Tempest and their pronouns from 'she/her' to 'they/them'.

In a post on social media, the Mercury Prize-nominated artist wrote: "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," Tempest continued. "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…"

Tempest said 'Kae' - pronounced like the letter 'k' - "is 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," Tempest explained. "It can also mean jackdaw which is the bird that symbolises death and rebirth."

Tempest concluded: "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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