After coming out as queer in February, actress Jameela Jamil, who will appear on HBO Max’s upcoming Legendary series, has revealed she’s not exactly sure where in the spectrum she fits.
In February, Jamil was announced as a major figure in the new show Legendary, a competition that centers the ballroom community. As the actress as at the time not known to be a part of the ballroom community nor LGBTQ+ to the general public, she found herself in a massive backlash. As a result, she issued a statement on Twitter titled “Twitter is Brutal,” before taking a hiatus from the platform.
“This is why I never officially came out as queer,” she wrote at the time. “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.”
Now, in a new interview she points out that though she knows she’s not heterosexual, she’s not sure which, of the many labels that fall under queerness, describes her.
“I guess I’m bisexual, but also quite fancy everyone,” she told The Sunday Times. “I don’t know if that means that I’m pansexual. But I don’t just fancy cis straight men; I fancy everyone.” And that’s real.
Though pansexuality may have caught up steam in recent years given various celebrities who have self-identified with the label — hi, hello Janelle Monae —there hasn’t been a tone of clarification on what the difference is, and even though we may have a definition, it can be a completely different experience to know something theoretically and to know it in practice. The accepted definition of bisexuality is someone who is attracted to multiple genders while pansexuality is about being attracted to all genders. There’s a nuance there that can be lost on many
“People are still kind of stuck in the linear and don’t understand the spectrum of sexuality,” Jamil said in the interview, speaking to that very point.