Jameela Jamil Has Come Out As ‘Queer’ After Backlash To Her New Role On A Voguing Series

"This is absolutely not how I wanted to come out."

The Good Place actress Jameela Jamil has come out as queer after facing backlash for her judging role on a new TV series about voguing.

Earlier this week, Jameela was announced as a judge on Legendary, a new reality competition show from HBO that will feature ten voguing houses competing against each other.

Twitter users were unimpressed with the news, wondering why HBO didn’t cast someone who identified as LGBTQ+, naming actors Billy Porter and Indya Moore as possibilities. Both Billy and Indya are in the TV show Pose, which is set in the New York ballroom scene in the 1980s.

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Some articles about this got it wrong and thought I’m the MC of this show. I am NOT. I’m honoured to say I’m one of the judges on LEGENDARY as well as an executive producer. Other judges are @theestallion @luxurylaw @wond3rwoman1 and we have @dashaunwesley and @theonlymikeq as commentators/MCs. I am just trying to use my platform and privilege to make sure important stories are told about groups that society needs to know about/accept/celebrate. I had concerns at first about joining as on-camera talent, as I’m not from the world of Ballroom. But to get these shows about minorities made, sometimes you need mainstream names that can bring their followers to watch and support shows. That is what Megan Thee Stallion and I hope to bring to the ballroom community. Support, love, respect and allyship. I’m really really excited. We start shooting tomorrow and I can’t wait to show you all of the talent we are bringing to your screens soon. It’s the real ballroom community and I’m excited to share their stories and beauty with you. When this show airs this summer I hope you all love it and support this community with us. ❤️

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In response, Jameela tweeted a lengthy statement about her sexuality, and her fears of not being accepted as a South Asian woman.

“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 I was ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter,” she wrote.

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… 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,” she continued, saying she would be staying off Twitter for a while.

“I know that my being queer doesn’t qualify me as ballroom… Sometimes it takes those with more power to help a show get off the ground so we can elevate marginalised stars that deserve the limelight and give them a chance.”

Jameela also corrected an earlier press release about the show which named her as the main host as well as a lead judge, saying that dancer and Pose star Dashaun Wesley would be the series’ MC.

She said: “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 f**king amazing and I’m really honoured to work with them.”

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