Jameela Jamil has come out as queer.
The 33-year-old actress made the announcement via social media on Wednesday, following backlash over her recent role in a voguing competition series.
"Twitter is brutal. This is why I never officially came out as queer," she wrote. "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."
Jamil, who has been a vocal critic of social media's effect on body image, also took some time to address the recent wave of criticism she's received online. On Tuesday, it was announced Jamil had been tapped to judge Legendary, a forthcoming voguing series in which eight houses compete for a trophy and a cash prize. Many blasted Jamil's role in the show, as the ballroom scene is known as a predominately black and Latino subculture of the LGBTQ community. Some suggested Jamil's role should've gone to someone with a background in voguing ... or, at the very least, someone who was part of the LGBTQ community.
Jamil defended her judging gig in Wednesday's announcement.
"I know that my being queer doesn't qualify me as ballroom. But I have privilege and power and a large following to bring to this show, (as does Megan Thee Stallion,) and it's beautiful contestants and ballroom hosts," she wrote. "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. I'm not the MC. I'm not the main host. I'm just a lead judge due to my 11 years of hosting experience, being full 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."
Jamil went on to say that she was excited to start shooting the series, and hoped that the casting would not stop people from supporting the contestants.
Legendary will air on HBO Max later this year. The nine-episode series will also feature Megan Thee Stallion, stylist and former America’s Next Top Model judge Law Roach, and ballroom legend Leiomy Maldonado on the judges panel. Ballroom veteran Dashaun Wesley will provide commentary and DJ MikeQ will handle the turntable.