In the comic books, Desire is nonbinary. They embody every desire a being can have, and thus cannot be tied down to any one gender. Mason Alexander Park is a nonbinary theater star, who came to prominence as Hedwig during a nationally-touring production of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Apparently, some people didn’t quite understand that Desire always transcended gender, because some people got mad. Gaiman responded to critics of the casting by essentially calling them out as fake fans, tweeting that Desire had always been nb, “But you’d have to have read the comics to know that. And the shouty people appear to have skipped that step.”
Some folks also criticized the casting of a Black woman as Death, arguing that Howell-Baptiste was cast as token diversity. This also ignores the fact that Death always appears to people as a reflection of themselves, and thus could be and has been Black before. “I give zero f***s about people who don’t understand/ haven’t read Sandman whining about a non-binary Desire or that Death isn’t white enough,” Gaiman tweeted. “Watch the show, make up your minds.” Everyone, shouty or otherwise, can watch Park as Desire when Netflix wraps production on the “Sandman” adaptation, hopefully some time soon.