Jameela Jamil comes out as 'queer' amid 'brutal' backlash over voguing show; quits Twitter

Jameela Jamil is opening up about her sexuality following backlash over her role in HBO Max's new voguing competition series that some social media users say "belongs to queer people."

Following online criticism, the "Good Place" actress and activist came out as "queer" during a lengthy statement posted on her Twitter account Wednesday.

"This is why I never officially came out as queer," she wrote. "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."

Jamil, 33, added: "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 already a brown female in your thirties."

The activist said the backlash forced her hand after years of hiding her sexuality. She admitted, "This is absolutely not how I wanted it to come out."

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Jamil's revelation comes one day after HBO Max announced she will judge "Legendary," a voguing competition series that highlights "modern day ball culture," which originated within the LGBTQ community. Megan Thee Stallion, Law Roach and Leiomy Maldonado will also serve as judges, in addition to commentary from Dashaun Wesley and music from DJ MikeQ.

But it was Jamil's participation that was the target of backlash on social media after HBO MAX incorrectly labeled her the show's MC host in a press release obtained by USA TODAY. (The streaming service clarified Wednesday that Jamil is only a judge.)

"@jameelajamil please do the right thing and step down from this position," one user tweeted. "It belongs to queer people because it was created, fought for & passed down by our queer elders. This was a huge mistake on the part of the directors but it will be yours too if you don’t step down."

Another user added: "If she was a true ally, she wouldn’t even want to take up this space in the queer community. Billy Porter, Angelica Ross and Indya Moore all would’ve been more appropriate choices."

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Jameela Jamil has come out as "queer."
Jameela Jamil has come out as "queer."

On Wednesday, Jamil acknowledged that "being queer doesn’t qualify me as ballroom," but noted that she's using her "privilege and power and a large following" to bring attention to the LGBTQ community.

"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," Jamil added.

She continued: "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 (expletive) amazing and I’m really honoured to work with them."

Jamil also vowed to take a break from Twitter following the "brutal" trolling.

"I’m jumping off this (expletive) app for a while because I don’t want to read mean comments dismissing this," she wrote. "You can keep your thoughts."

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jameela Jamil comes out as 'queer' amid backlash, leaves Twitter