Tyler James Williams warned fans about speculation surrounding his sexuality — read his statement.
via: Daily Beast
Tyler James Williams took to Instagram early Sunday to dispel any rumors of his sexuality, instead urging his followers to deconstruct stereotypes forced onto both straight and gay people on representation.
“Usually I wouldn’t address stuff like this but I feel like it as a conversation is bigger than me,” he wrote in a Notes-app message posted to his Instagram story. “I’m not gay; but I think the culture of trying to ‘find’ some kind of hidden trait or behavior that a closeted person ‘let slip’ is very dangerous.”
Williams wrote that the culture of trying to force someone into coming out “contributes directly to the anxiety a lot of queer and queer questioning people feel when they fear living in their truth.”
“It makes the most pedestrian of conversations and interactions in spaces feel less safe for our gay brothers and sisters and those who may be questioning.” the Abbott Elementary star wrote.
It is unclear what prompted Williams to address his sexuality directly, as his recent interviews—notably, a comedy actor roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter—had not referenced it. He has previously said the Black community was “notoriously homophobic,” noting his role in 2014’s Dear White People as a gay college student broke the oft-portrayed view of gay men as feminine.
“For so long there was so little, I guess, portrayals of the average Black American, that the average Black American male associated himself with whoever was on TV,” he told HuffPost at the time. “So in this way, there’s still this mentality of, ‘Okay, you’re a black male on TV. I am you. Wait, you’re gay? I’m not gay! No, no never mind, we’re not the same thing. Forget you. We shun you now.’”
Williams wrote on Sunday that his platform was also dedicated to resisting straight archetypes that were “often times unrealistic, less free, and limits individual expression” as much as possible.
“Being straight doesn’t look one way. Being gay doesn’t look one way,” he wrote, later wishing that those celebrating Pride Month felt safe and seen. “As an ally I continue to be committed to assisting in that where I can and helping to cultivate a future where we are all accepted and given permission to be ourselves.”