Jameela Jamil Coming Out Sparks Debate On Twitter About Queerness And Representation

Jameela Jamil

This morning, Jameela Jamil publicly came out as a queer woman after she received intense backlash for her role in HBO’s new show Legendary – a competitive unscripted series focusing on ballroom and voguing.

In a three-page note post, titled ‘Twitter is brutal’, Jamil responded to the criticism surrounding her involvement in the show. While announcing herself as a queer woman, Jamil said she was afraid to come out as a brown woman in her 30s, pointing to her personal experience of queerness in the south Asian community, as well as being afraid of accusations of “performative bandwagon jumping.”

“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,” she wrote.


She also denied earlier reports that she had signed on as MC.

“I’m just a lead judge due to my 11 years of hosting experience,” she explained. In an earlier tweet she clarified that Dashaun Wesley had actually been tapped to MC.


The response from Twitter users is a lot, to say the least. Some questioned Jamil’s use of “queer” and what that actually means, while others accused her of playing victim. The overwhelming consensus here is that while nobody should be forced to come out, Jamil has missed the mark in her response to LGBTQ+ representation in film and television.

Trace Lysette, who yesterday expressed her disappointment in Jamil’s involvement with the show, tweeted: “Being queer does not make you ballroom.”






In direct response to Jamil’s statement, one user @minytrash tweeted: “And this is why I’m ALWAYS so weary of people hating on presumed ‘straight’ people going on LGBT shows. No one should EVER have to come out to avoid hate. This is horrifying. Is there legitimate criticism of her being on the show? Yes. But this shouldn’t have had to happen.”

Jamil has jumped “off this hell app for a while”, explaining that she doesn’t want to “read mean comments dismissing this” on Twitter.

“You can keep your thoughts,” she wrote.