“Abbott Elementary” star Tyler James Williams is speaking out against the “dangerous” practice that arises when people speculate on someone’s sexuality based on behaviors they believe the person has accidentally “let slip” in an attempt to hide their true sexuality.
“Usually I wouldn’t address stuff like this but I feel like it as a conversation is bigger than me,” Williams wrote on 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.”
“Overanalyzing someone’s behavior in an attempt to ‘catch’ them directly contributes to the anxiety a lot of queer and queer questioning people feel when they fear living in their truth,” he continued. “It makes the most pedestrian of conversations and interactions in spaces feel less safe for our gay brothers and sisters and those who maybe be questioning.”
Williams also noted that basing judgements of one’s sexuality on certain traits or behaviors that have traditionally been associated with being gay reinforces “an archetype many straight men have to live under that is often times unrealistic, less free and limits individual expression.”
“Being straight doesn’t look one way. Being gay doesn’t look one way,” he wrote, adding that he has tried to use his platform to push back against the archetypes. “I refuse to inadvertently contribute to that message.”
While Williams did not note what prompted his response, he shut down speculative discussions that “may seem like harmless fun” but instead send “a dangerous message to those struggling with real issues.”
The “Abbott Elementary” actor concluded his thoughts with a message of allyship and admiration to the LGBTQ community during Pride month.
“I pray that you feel seen in ways that make you feel safe in the celebration that is this month,” he wrote. “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.”