Coming out is extremely difficult and it takes an immense amount of courage. That’s why few people can imagine how this BBC presenter came out on air!
Shivani Dave, a BBC Radio Wiltshire presenter, came out on live air as nonbinary on August 8th. This was the first episode of a special celebrating Pride and LGBTQ+ stories.
“Coming out is something a lot of us feel like we should do, and it isn’t just a one-time thing either,” said Dave after playing the song “I’m Coming Out.” “It’s something that we have to keep doing over and over again.”
But as not everyone knows, Dave has come out before himself; The broadcaster used to identify as bisexual for three years before he went through the process of discovering the nonbinary sexuality. A process that so many LGBTQ+ people are continuing to go through more and more.
“Nonbinary actually means a lot of different things to different people. For me, it just means I don’t identify with being a man or a woman.”
Interestingly, many other bisexuals including Miley Cyrus, have embraced the nonbinary sexuality. This is because before the nonbinary become known widespread just a few years back, many whose sexuality did not belong to the male or female binary would identify their attraction for both sexes as bisexuality, but would not consider their own gender-which the term nonbinary does.
“I’m sort of outside of those two options-I’m just a person. You know what I said about coming out over and over again? I just did it.”
Dave’s shocking on-air announcement probably came as a surprise for many, but there’s a reason why they did it this way.
“The presence of nonbinary representation in mainstream media like the BBC is virtually non-existent,” Shivani said in a statement after the broadcast.
“In coming out so publicly I hope to show other nonbinary people that they should be proud to embrace who they are.”
Shivani also took the opportunity to highlight another sect of the LGBTQ+ community that deserves more recognition.
“Being South Asian, I also hope to empower other BAME (Black, Asian, and Minoritized Ethnicities) LGBTQ+ people who are often an unheard minority in the queer community.”
As a journalist, Dave understands the impact that exposure can have, and the act of coming out most definitely had an impact on the show’s listeners. But hosting a BBC program is not the only way to make a difference. Simply showing your Pride can encourage so many around you to come out or become more accepting. That’s the ultimate purpose of Shivani.
If you want to show your pride, check out our nonbinary flag and bring it with you everywhere!