Jameela Jamil, an actress and feminist activist, came out as “queer” on Wednesday, bemoaning that online critics had forced her to reveal her sexual identity under duress.
A day earlier, social media erupted in fury after HBO Max announced Jamil would be the main host and lead judge of the new voguing competition, “Legendary.” Many liberals said the role should rightfully go to an LGBT actor as opposed to an apparently cisgender and heterosexual one.
Jamil, a 33-year-old star of ABC’s “The Good Place” and outspoken feminist activist, responded to the backlash by tweeting out a long statement entitled “Twitter is brutal.”
“This is why I never officially came out as queer,” she said.
Jamil went on to say that she has long identified as “queer.” She said she added a rainbow” to her Twitter profile “a few years ago” and “always answered honestly if ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter.”
However, Jamil said, she “kept it low because I was scared of the pain of being accused of performative bandwagon jumping.”
She added that she the first person in her family, which is British by way of India and Pakistan, to be “openly out” and that her queerness “caused me a lot of confusion, fear and turmoil when I was a kid.”
Plus, she explained, it was “scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties.”
Jamil said she was temporarily quitting “this hell app” Twitter over “the mean comments” she anticipated in reaction to her statement. She has not tweeted in the 19 hours since then.
“This is absolutely not how I wanted it to come out, I’m jumping off this hell app for a while because I don’t want to read mean comments dismissing this. You can keep your thoughts,” she complained.
Jamil said she was aware that “being queer doesn’t qualify me as ballroom.” But she said her platform, along with her fellow judges, who have ties to voguing, would help promote the show and spread its message to more people.
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