“She came out what?”
Last week, The Good Place star Jameela Jamil made headlines for being cast in an upcoming competition show about ballroom culture and then coming out as queer herself.
When Jamil’s name was attached to HBO”s upcoming ballroom vogueing competition called Legendary, many questioned the star’s being on the show. Many questioned her involvement as the Ballroom scene and culture has historically been focused on Black LGBTQ people. Jamil then came out as queer on social media through a written statement.
“Twitter is brutal,” wrote the upcoming competition show judge, “This is why I never officially came out as queer. 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,” she wrote.
She then added that she often felt afraid of coming out and certainly didn’t want to under circumstances like this.
“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.”
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) February 5, 2020
“It’s also scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties,” she explained. “This is absolutely not how I wanted to come out.”
Jamil then shared that she hopes to support and spotlight Ballroom culture as a judge on the show.
“I know that being queer doesn’t qualify me as ballroom. But I have privilege and power and a large following to bring this show (as does the absolutely iconic Megan Thee Stallion) and it’s beautiful contestants and ballroom hosts.”
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Well. Last week was a perfect clusterfuck. It was completely overwhelming. The sequence of events was insane, a misunderstanding was left uncorrected for too long, and misinformation spread too far, too fast, then my timing was bad, and in a moment of distress and pain, personal things were blurted out because when you have a secret for decades and you’re traumatized, it always feels like it might just fucking burst out of you at any given moment, even the most inappropriate and unfortunate ones. I thankfully chose the *most* inappropriate and unfortunate time, maybe ever, for mine. 👌🏽 So now you don’t have to feel embarrassed about yours. I PEAKED FOR ALL OF US! 👊🏽 But timing aside. Better out than in, and thank you for the thousands of messages of kindness and deeply personal letters from strangers and people I know, coming out to me privately. I don’t take it lightly and am happy for you that you felt ready to tell even one person. Do it whenever you feel the time is right, as long as you think you’ll be safe. Don’t feel bad for hiding it for as long as you need, and move at your own pace. But feel no shame about getting it off your chest and know you aren’t alone. There is a huge community of people who understand you, respect you and stand with you. On we go, hoping this week will be calmer than the last, and sending everyone the most love. Jam 🌈
When asked about the situation by TooFab, Miss J Alexander, known mostly for being a judge on other competition show America’s Next Top Model, gave Jamil advice to continue living her personal truth.
“She came out what?” a skeptical Miss J initially responded after being told the news. “Why can’t we just be gay and be done?”
Miss J Alexander then added as a direct response to Jameela Jamil: “Girl, Miss J said: Cut it out. Be you, do you, and then I’ll love you even more.”
Keep in mind, the lackluster interview, shown below, was done by a paparazzi member with heavy bias. If the information had been properly delivered to Miss J, he may have responded differently.