What does ‘queer’ mean as Jameela Jamil publicly comes out?

Jameela Jamil has come out as queer in a lengthy Twitter statement

Jameela Jamil has come out publicly about her sexuality in a lengthy Twitter post following criticism she received after joining new TV show Ballroom.

The Good Place star has joined Megan Thee Stallion, Law Roach and Leiomy Maldonado on the panel of the show, a competition which focuses on ballroom culture and Vogueing.

Many felt that the panel should be exclusively made up of queer people to reflect the themes of the show – but Jameela addressed the claims in a post headed: ‘Twitter is brutal’, going on to explain why she ‘never officially’ came out as queer.

She added that she wanted to bring her ‘privilege and power’ to the show in order to ‘elevate marginalised stars that deserve the limelight and give them a chance’.

But what does the term ‘queer’ actually mean? Here’s what you need to know…

What does the term ‘queer’ mean?

According to Stonewall, ‘queer’ is defined as ‘a term used by those wanting to reject specific labels of romantic orientation, sexual orientation and/or gender identity’, although the organisation says it can also be a way of ‘rejecting the perceived norms of the LGBT commuity, such as racism, sizeism or ableism).

The word was previously regarded as a slur, although many people who are LGBT+ have since embraced it.

The Good Place star is currently dating musician James Blake (Picture: Getty Images)

Some people use the term queer in a radical way, to show they don’t agree with binaries when it comes to men, women, gay or straight.

Others believe that it helps them feel free of stereotypes that sexuality is simply about sex.

What has Jameela Jamil said about coming out as queer?

Jameela addressed the issue in a lengthy social media statement entited: ‘Twitter is brutal’.

She went on: ‘This is why I never officially came out as queer.

Jameela Jamil Twitter

‘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.

Jameela Jamil on Twitter

‘I didn’t come from a family with *anyone* openly out,’ she added. ‘It’s also scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties. This is absolutely not how I wanted it to come out.

‘I’m jumping off this hell app for a while because I don’t want to read mean comments dismissing this. You can keep your thoughts.’

Meanwhile she said of her position on Legendary: ‘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 fully 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.’

MORE: Rick Edwards reacts as Jameela Jamil throws major shade at T4 presenters’ ‘smug behaviour’


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