After a day of going back and forth on social media in a bungled press release-turned fiasco for her show Legendary, actress Jameela Jamil has taken to Twitter to clarify her sexuality.
“This is why I never officially came out as queer,” she wrote in a note titled Twitter is Brutal. “I added a rainbow to my name when I felt ready 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.”
Over the past day Jamil has been criticized for being a part of Legendary, a show based around the ballroom community, which was created by queer people of color. Some of those criticisms said that Jamil was unfit as she was not known to be queer.
“I didn’t come from a family with *anyone* openly out,” she wrote. “It’s also scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties. This is absolutely not how I wanted it to come out.”
Jamil went further, also addressing her involvement with Legendary.
“I know that my being queer doesn’t qualify me as ballroom,” she wrote. “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.” She restated that she is not the MC as an earlier HBO press release stated.
“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 LGBT community.”
Jamil said that she would take a break from Twitter as a result of the criticisms.
The actress has been in a relationship with musician James Blake since 2015.