Jameela Jamil Comes Out As Queer Amid Backlash Over New TV Judge Role
Jamil was announced as one of the show's judges earlier this week, when The Good Place actor tweeted: "I'm a judge, alongside @leiomy @theestallionand @LUXURYLAW with music from icon @TheOnlyMikeQ.
"I know some of us aren't from ballroom, but we are here to bring our followings, press and new audiences to the show, to support and celebrate the ballroom community. That is all.
"I'm so excited for you to meet the contestants from best houses from the ballroom world, their extraordinary stories, talent, grace, humour and beauty.
"It's a huge honour to be invited in by@leiomy @DashaunWesleyand @TheOnlyMikeQ #legendary."
I'm a judge, alongside @leiomy @theestallion and @LUXURYLAW with music from icon @TheOnlyMikeQ I know some of us aren't from ballroom, but we are here to bring our followings, press and new audiences to the show, to support and celebrate the ballroom community. That is all. :heart: pic.twitter.com/1H1J5hXi3K
- Jameela Jamil :rainbow: (@jameelajamil) February 5, 2020
However, Jamil said that since the news dropped, she's received a lot of hatred online - supposedly because some people don't believe she 'qualifies' for the job.
Defending herself in a full statement, Jamil revealed that she identifies as 'queer', a term often used within the LGBTQ community. Pink News describes it as referring to those 'who don't identify with traditional categories around gender identity and sexual orientation'.
The statement, which had been written using the Notes app before it was shared on Twitter, said: "Twitter is brutal. This is why I never officially came out as queer.
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"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 it 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."
Jamil, who is currently in a relationship with musician James Blake, continued: "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 its beautiful contestants and ballroom hosts.
"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."
Shutting down rumours that she would be an MC on the show as well as a judge, Jamil added: "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."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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