"Twitter is brutal," Jamil began. "This is why I never officially came out as queer."
Jameela Jamil, one of the stars of NBC's The Good Place, has come out as queer on Twitter following her controversial casting on HBO Max's newest ballroom vogueing competition TV show.
The 33-year-old will be a judge on Legendary alongside rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Law Roach. Jamil was first announced as the MC on the series before she clarified the mistake herself, but many LGBTQ+ stars immersed in ballroom culture on Twitter immediately questioned why the actor (who they presumed to be straight) was such a major part of an LGBTQ-centered series.
"People wanted to know why a seemingly cisgender heterosexual woman was the face of a creation of queer people of color. Someone who wasn’t a part of the culture," wrote Out, citing outraged Tweets from Hustlers' Trace Lysette, Pose's Angelica Ross, and more.
The outrage barraged Jamil enough to feel as if she had to make a public statement.
"Twitter is brutal," Jamil began. "This is why I never officially came out as queer. I added a rainbow to my name a few years ago when I felt ready to a few years ago, as it’s not easy within the south Asian community to be accepted, and I always answered honestly if ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter. But I kept it low because I was scared of the pain of being accused of performative bandwagon-jumping over something that caused me a lot of confusion, fear, and turmoil when I was a kid. I didn’t come from a family with *anyone* openly out. It’s also scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties."
She goes on to say that she's quitting Twitter for the moment and "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.
I know that my being queer doesn't qualify me as ballroom. But I have privilege and power and a large following to bring to this show, (as does the absolutely iconic Megan Thee Stallion,) and it's beautiful contestants and ballroom hosts. Sometimes it takes those with more power to help a show get off the ground so we can elevate marginalized stars that deserve the limelight and give them a chance. I'm not the MC. I'm not the main host. I'm just a lead judge due to my 11 years of hosting experience, being fully impartial, a newcomer to ballroom (like much of the audience will be) and therefore a window in for people who are just discovering it now, and being a long time ally of the lgbtq community.
We start shooting tomorrow and I'm really excited to watch these stars shine and be celebrated. I'm excited to work with Leiomy, Dashaun, and Mike Q. As I am with my friend Law Roach and Megan. It's fucking hard to be asked to continue to be patient after so long of waiting for what you want. I know that. South Asian stories are almost never told without white stars. But I hope you don't let a few castings designed to help the show get off the ground, stop you from supporting the talent from Ballroom on this show. They really are fucking amazing and I'm really honoured to work with them.
To the press, I really really don't want to talk about it. Let's just focus on the contestants of the show until it's out.
Representation has become more important to LGBTQ+ people in recent years, many of whom are understandably exhausted from seeing heterosexual, cisgender people in roles that should be filled with queer talent. That's a valid concern and there's a long history of queer POC creations being appropriated for mainstream consumption, but there's something undeniably gross about publicly shaming someone based on their assumed identity so intensely that they feel forced to come out of the closet.
British electro-crooner James Blake, whom Jamil has been in a relationship with since 2015, responded to her coming-out tweet with a simple, "I love you."0
The Good Place Star Jameela Jamil Comes Out as Queer0