Getty Images | Rich Polk

Jameela Jamil Comes Out As Queer After Facing Intense Backlash: 'Twitter Is Brutal'

Rae Batchelor 6 Feb 2020

Jameela Jamil, star of The Good Place and outspoken activist for women's and marginalized community's rights, has just made a statement about her sexuality on Twitter after facing backlash for her involvement on upcoming show Legendary.

Jameela was recently announced as participating on the show 'Legendary,' a vogueing competition show coming to HBO.

Instagram | @jameelajamil

Vogueing is a style of dance popularized in the ballroom scene, which are competitions by local LGBT+ performers, most often drag queens or trans women.

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Jameela's casting was called into question by many, including trans actress Trace Lysette.

Trace, who's most well known for her work on Transparent, said it was mindblowing when people "with no connection to our culture gets the gig," mentioning that she too had auditioned but not gotten the role Jameela got despite having actually been involved in the ballroom scene for nearly a decade.

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Jameela has defended her involvement through a lengthy note shared to her twitter account in which she also comes out as queer.

Instagram | @jameelajamil

"Twitter is brutal," she began. "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."

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"And I always answered honestly if ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter."

Instagram | @jameelajamil

"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."

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"I didn't come from a family with anyone openly out."

Instagram | @jameelajamil

"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 to come out."

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"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."

Instagram | @jameelajamil

Jameela then addressed the controversy surrounding her casting on the show. "I know that my being queer doesn't qualify me as ballroom," she began on a new page.

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"But I have privilege and power and a large following to bring to this show."

Instagram | @jameelajamil

"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."

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"I'm not the MC. I'm not the main host," Jameela clarified.

Instagram | @jameelajamil

"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."

What do you think? Was the backlash earned, or were people being too harsh on Jameela? Let us know in the comments!

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