Tyler James Williams: Trying to ‘find’ out someone’s sexuality is ‘very dangerous’

Tyler James Williams poses in a white blazer and patterned shirt against a pink backdrop.
“Abbott Elementary” star Tyler James Williams released a lengthy statement addressing speculation about his sexuality.
(Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP)
Share via

Tyler James Williams recently addressed speculation about his sexuality in a lengthy statement showing support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Over the weekend, the Emmy-nominated “Abbott Elementary” star posted a two-part message on his Instagram story setting the record straight about his sexuality and speaking out against the practice of investigating people’s sexual identities.

“Usually I wouldn’t address stuff like this but I feel like it [is] a conversation bigger than me,” the 30-year-old actor wrote.


“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.”

The “Dear White People” and “Everybody Hates Chris” alum — currently famous for playing lovable, pie-hating first-grade teacher Gregory Eddie on “Abbott Elementary” — warned that “what may seem like harmless fun and conversation may actually be sending a dangerous message” that he refuses to “inadvertently contribute to.”

“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,” he continued.

“It also reinforces the archetype many straight men have to live under that is often times unrealistic, less free, and limits individual expression.”

Actress and TV host Jameela Jamil came out as queer after HBO Max announced that she will serve as MC and judge on”Legendary,” a voguing competition series.

Feb. 5, 2020

Williams is among the numerous celebrities who have publicly commented on their sexual identities amid rampant social media speculation about their sexuality.

Last year, singer and actor Harry Styles deemed gossip about his sexuality “outdated” in an interview with Better Homes & Gardens, while “Heartstopper” star Kit Connor came out as bisexual and shamed people for “forcing an 18-year-old to out himself” on Twitter. In 2020, “The Good Place” alum Jameela Jamil confirmed she is queer (adding, “This is absolutely not how I wanted it to come out”) after some opposed her casting in the voguing competition series “Legendary.”


“I’ve been very clear about the intentionality I try to put into using my platform to push back against those archetypes every chance that I get,” Williams wrote in his post. “Being straight doesn’t look one way. Being gay doesn’t look one way.”

“Happy Pride to all of my queer and questioning brothers, sisters, and individuals,” he added. “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.”