“Twitter is brutal. This is why I never officially came out as queer.”
By
SBS staff writers

6 Feb 2020 - 10:43 AM  UPDATED 6 Feb 2020 - 11:22 AM

British actress Jameela Jamil has come out as queer on Twitter, saying she hopes she can use her platform to amplify marginalised communities. 

“Twitter is brutal. This is why I never officially came out as queer,” she wrote to her one million Twitter fans on Wednesday.

“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.

Jamil who is dating singer James Blake, said growing up in the South Asian Pakistani community, she felt the need to keep her fear and confusion around her sexuality a secret. 

"I didn't come from a family with anyone openly out," 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 said she felt forced to come out to defend her role as a judge and executive producer on the upcoming queer-themed American cable ballroom show Legendary. 

“It’s also scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties,” she added. “This is absolutely not how I wanted it to come out.

"I have privilege and power and a large following to bring this show. 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.”