After critics said she should not be hosting Legendary, a new LGBTQ competitive ballroom dance show, The Good Place star announced she does in fact identify as queer.
“Twitter is brutal,” the 33-year-old Brit wrote.
“This is why I never officially came out as queer … 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.”
Jameela, who has been in a relationship with British singer James Blake for five years, continued:
“It’s scary as an actor to openly admit your sexuality, especially when you’re already a brown female in your thirties.
“I kept [the fact I am queer] 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,” she explained.
“This is absolutely not how I wanted it to come out.”
She also clarified her role on the HBO reality show, which is about vogueing, a dance style that has its roots in 1960s LGBTQ and drag culture, and grew in popularity after Madonna’s Vogue video clip saw it explode into the mainstream.
“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 … and being a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community.
“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 added.
Aside from her acting and TV hosting roles, Jameela has become known for calling out toxic culture and cultural insensitivity, and promoting mental health and body positivity.
She is a frequent critic of the Kardashians for promoting diet culture to young women.
Last year she made headlines after the death of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, calling him “a ruthless, fat-phobic misogynist”.
She was also featured on Meghan Markle’s Forces for Change Vogue cover and defended the couple’s decision to spectacularly quit the royal family, tweeting that the move is “what power looks like”.