Tyler James Williams is putting an end to rumors about his sexuality and educating people about the dangers of trying to out someone they believe to be queer.
The “Abbott Elementary” standout delivered a lengthy message in his Instagram Story today (June 4) addressing the matter. “Usually, I wouldn’t address stuff like this, but I feel like it as a conversation is bigger than me. 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,” he began.
Williams continues to note that overanalyzing someone’s behavior to satisfy a projected narrative about their sexual preference has contributed to a lack of safe spaces and freedom of self-expression. “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. It also reinforces an archetype many straight men have to live under that is often times unrealistic, less free, and limits individual expression,” says the actor.
The former child actor adds that identifying as straight or queer does not have a singular look. “And what may seem like harmless fun and conversation may actually be sending a dangerous message to those struggling with real issues,” wrote the Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner. In conclusion, Williams makes it clear, “I refuse to inadvertently contribute to that message. Happy Pride to all of my queer and questioning brothers, sisters, and individuals. I pray that you feel seen in ways that make you feel safe in the celebration that is this month. 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.”
June is nationally recognized as Pride Month. Former President Bill Clinton was the first leader of the country to designate the month as such in 2000. Barack Obama followed suit in 2009 when he changed the name from Gay and Lesbian Pride Month to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month. A host of events and parades celebrating queer individuals’ right to fully be themselves date back to 1970, when activists first marched in commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.
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