Tyler James Williams is “not gay.” The longtime actor confirmed his lack of interest in the same sex in an Instagram post addressing people questioning his sexuality.
Most of his lengthy clapback explained the dangers of “outing” culture–the practice of exposing a queer person’s sexuality. Williams also presented himself as an ally to the LGBTQ+ communities–promising to continue to fight for a future of acceptance.
“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 it slip” is very dangerous,” Tyler wrote. “Overanalyzing someone’s behavior in an attempt to “catch” them directly contributes to the anxiety of 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.”
Tyler James Says ‘Outing’ Culture Limits The ‘Individual Expression’ Of Straight Men Too
Williams says the ‘outing’ culture not affects queer and queer questioning people but also stifles straight men and their freedom of expression.
“It also reinforces an archetype many straight men have to live under that is often times unrealistic, less free, and limits individual expression. I’ve been very clear about the intentionality I try to put into using my platform to push back against those archetypes every chance I get. Being straight doesn’t look one way. Being gay doesn’t look one way. And what may seem like harmless fun and conversation may actually be sending a dangerous message to those struggling with real issues. I refuse to inadvertently contribute to that message.”
Amid Tyler’s message making its rounds, Drake was causing a stir online for rocking yellow and blue nail polish–a beauty trend typically marketed to women. The Twitter reactions ranged from support to homophobic comments.
The online slams seemingly prove Tyler’s message about ‘outing’ culture limiting the creative expression of straight men.
KEEP SCROLLING TO SEE SOME OF THE BACKLASH DRAKE GOT
— Flackacita 💘 (@jadedfreestyle) June 4, 2023
Went on Instagram and seen Drake wearing nail polish… pic.twitter.com/7fFSVc9Br9
— Yo$h (@jay__authentic) June 4, 2023
yea drake lost his mind with that nail
polish bullshit 🤮
— Crisshawn Clark (@Ohio_Shawn) June 4, 2023
Drake rocking nail polish 😩 I really fuked with his music man damn the devil is real and money really talks just for clout 💭 Sad for his fans that don’t like this shit and you won’t ever see his music on here sorry guys! Wrapdatmusic will never post music of transgender or gay… pic.twitter.com/WHUY4Mamyd
— Wrap Dat Music (@WrapDatMusic) June 5, 2023
Drake got the nail polish on na? I ain’t surprised but wtf lol.. never thought I’d see the day all the men started wearing nail polish 😂😂 too crazy
— a rarity ❤️🔥 (@ShotsofMello) June 4, 2023
Drake wearing painted finger nails is him helping push the agenda to emasculate black men. He was paid to do that, I can’t see no straight man Jus waking up wanting to put on nail polish.
— Jus D (@OfficialjusD) June 4, 2023
Drizzy Drake you done inspired a lot of styles and we appreciate it. But it stops at this nail polish. This where you pass the torch big dawg. We done lost you
— Prize 🏅 (@marcxprize) June 4, 2023
Drake wearing nail polish >> men wearing nail polish >>
— misstropicana (@miisstropicana) June 4, 2023
Williams Wishes Queer And Queer Questioning People A Happy Pride Month
The “Everybody Hates Chris” actor ended his Instagram Story post with a message for those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community.
“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,” Tyler James wrote.