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Jameela Jamil decided to come out as a member of the LGBTQ community. This happened shortly after she was backlashed for voguing on a TV series.
Jameela was called to judge an unscripted voguing contest called ‘Legendary’. HBO announced on Tuesday that the actress, model, and presenter would be on the judging panel for the series.
After the channel announced the news, there was a huge backlash from many people. They believed that Jameela was not representative of the black LGBTQ+ community in which voguing originated. There was an inaccurate press release that heightened the criticism. The press release stated that Jameel would be the MC of the show. This did not make things any better.
Jameel later said that she would be a judge and not an MC. But the criticism against here continues. Moreover, she was also accused of “appropriating ballroom culture.”
This whole episode prompted her to come out with her sexuality. She set the record straight on twitter saying that she identifies as queer. She also mentioned that she was struggling to come out before because of her Indian and Pakistani heritage.
“Twitter is brutal. This is why I never officially came out as queer,” she wrote.
She also added saying how the South Asian community is not very accepting. Jameel said that nobody in her family was openly out. And that it was scary as an actor to admit your sexuality. Especially when you are a part of a brown family in your thirties.
We want to hear what Jamil has to say
Being queer is not only embraced but it is also frowned up by many. The term queer is being reclaimed by some non-heterosexuals people. They do not identify with more traditional categories of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Jamil did not want to come out in after such backlash. She added saying that she was going to log off of twitter for the time being. Jamil says, “I don’t want to read mean comments dismissing this”.
She even told criticks to keep their thoughts to themselves.
Last March there was one twitter user that asked if she wanted to come out as queer. Jamil replied saying, “I was on the spectrum but I do lean more towards boys”.
Jamil says that he had added a rainbow to her name years ago. When she felt it. But it was not easy for her to come out in the South Asian community. She confessed, “I always answered honestly if ever straight-up asked about it on Twitter.”
She had kept it low because she was scared of the pain of being accused of performative bandwagon-jumping. This cause her a lot of confusion, fear, and turmoil when she was a kid. She says, “I didn’t come from a family with *anyone* openly out.”
People will always have something to say
Voguing is a genre of dance. It originated in New York in the late 1980s. Black and Latino LGBTQ people founded the art. Families had disowned this people because of their sexuality and gender.
Voguing came to attention when Madonna hit Vogue in 1990. It followed with the documentary movie ‘Paris is Burning’.
Many people were critical of Jamil’s involvement in the show. They said that the cast should have a connection to the ballroom scene.
Jamil responded saying, “I’m a long time fan of ballroom and just wanted to help this show get made to celebrate this beautiful community.” She also clarified that she believes she is the appropriate fit for the program.
“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… and its beautiful contestants and hosts.”
Jamil’s reactions on twitter came out to be more negative than positive. People even criticized her for coming out as queer while being in a relationship with musician James Blake.
Another person accused her that she had come out to avoid being criticized for not being representative of the LGBTQ+ community.
Moreover, people even stated that the producers could have found someone from the culture.
Performers like Trace Lysette and Michelle Visage, who were not part of. the show also joined in on the debate.
Visage said, “literally so many others who actually KNOW about ball who should be on”.
Lysette said she gets disappointed when people with no connection to the culture get the gig. She also stressed that her comment was not shaded towards Jamil Jameela.