April 7, 2017 at 2:33 pm EST | by Mariah Cooper
Emmys allows non-binary ‘Billions’ star to choose award category

(Asia Kate Dillon in ‘Billions.’ Screenshot via YouTube.)

Non-binary performer Asia Kate Dillon plays the first non-binary character on the show “Billions” and is now breaking barriers in Emmy Awards consideration.

Variety reports Showtime wanted to submit Dillon for a nomination for their portrayal of Taylor Mason and asked Dillon whether they wanted to be submitted for an actor or actress category. Dillon wondered why they had to choose and sent a letter to the Television Academy.

“I’d like to know if in your eyes ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ denote anatomy or identity and why it is necessary to denote either in the first place? The reason I’m hoping to engage you in a conversation about this is because if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are in fact supposed to represent ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a woman’ and ‘best performance by a person who identifies as a man’ then there is no room for my identity within that award system binary,” Dillon writes.” Furthermore, if the categories of ‘actor’ and ‘actress’ are meant to denote assigned sex I ask, respectfully, why is that necessary?”

The Television Academy responded and told Dillon they could submit for either category. A spokesperson told Variety “there is no gender requirement for the various performer categories.”

Ultimately, Dillon chose the supporting actor category because “actor is a non-gendered word that I use.”

Watch Dillon discuss the “Billions” character Taylor below.

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