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BBC Presenter Comes Out As Nonbinary On-Air During Pride Special


Shivani Dave  hopes to encourage other nonbinary people to "be proud" of who they are. 

On an August 8 live broadcast, BBC Radio Wiltshire presenter Shivani Dave came out as nonbinary as part of a special celebrating Pride and LGBTQ+ stories.

Dave is now the second nonbinary person to present on the BBC. Last year, Gaydio host and producer Jacob Edward was the first nonbinary person to host a show on the BBC when they went on-air during the 2019 holiday season.

"Coming out is something a lot of us feel like we should do, and it isn't just a one time thing either," Dave explained, after they played Diana Ross's queer anthem "I'm Coming Out" and just before playing a song by nonbinary singer Sam Smith. "It's something that we have to keep doing over and over and over again."

They continued, "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 woman. I'm sort of outside those two options - I'm just a person. You know what I said about coming out over and over again? I just did it."

Shivani had previously identified as bisexual, but chose to come out on the broadcast -- which was also their debut on BBC Radio Wiltshire -- in hopes to give other nonbinary people courage. The special was organized by local activists following the cancellations of Swindon and Wiltshire Pride due to the pandemic.

"The presence of nonbinary representation in mainstream media like the BBC is virtually non-existent," they 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."

They continued, "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."

Listen to BBC Radio Wiltshire's Pride special in its entirety HERE.

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