Jameela Jamil has come out as a member of the LGBTQ community.
The television presenter and actress told her followers over Twitter earlier today (5 February) that she identifies as queer, following widespread backlash over her upcoming role in a new HBO Max voguing series.
It was announced earlier this week that the star would be a judge on the reality competition, titled Legendary, alongside rapper Megan Thee Stallion, stylist Law Roach and Leiomy Maldonado, founder of Haus of Amazon and choreographer for Pose.
It was initially misreported by Deadline that Jameela would also be the MC of the show, which prompted backlash over Twitter because of her lack of connection to the LGBTQ community and the voguing art-form.
She later clarified that she would just be a judge and that MC duties would belong to MikeQ and Dashaun Wesley.
Now, Jameela has set the record straight and revealed that she actually identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community. She wrote in a statement: “Twitter is brutal. 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.
“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. This is absolutely not how I wanted 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.”
Jameela added: “I know that my being queer doesn’t qualifty 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 hosts.”
The Good Place star continued to say that it takes people with power to help those in marginalised communities and elevate them into the limelight. She then clarified once again that she’s not the MC or the main judge.
“I’m a just a lead judge due to my 11 years of hosting experience, being fully impartial, a newcomer to ballroom,” she explained, “and therefore a window in for people who are just discovering it now and being a longtime ally of the lgbtq community.”
See Jameela’s full post below.