‘Abbott Elementary’ Star Tyler James Williams Just Demonstrated Great LGBTQ+ Allyship

Abbott Elementary star Tyler James Williams took to Instagram to address rumors about his own sexuality and his response is a master class in  grade A allyship.

On Sunday, Williams posted a story on Instagram to dispel speculation surrounding his sexuality. While the actor clarified that he isn’t queer, he took the time to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community in a lovely way. He said  that “overanalyzing” an individual’s sexuality and their behaviors is “dangerous” and creates unsafe spaces for queer people. 

“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,” wrote Williams. “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.”

Williams also stated how this type of speculation impacts straight men too, who have to also abide by a certain archetype that limits self-expression and promotes toxic masculinity.

“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 that I get,” added Williams. 

The 30-year-old’s words were a great example of LGBTQ+ allyship and promoting healthy masculinity. Williams, whose breakout role was Chris playing Chris in Everybody Hates Chris, is enjoying huge success in his Golden Globe Award-winning role as Gregory in Abbott Elementary. The Quinta Brunson-created TV series is lauded not only for its depiction of public education, but also for the holistic portrayal of LGBTQ+ characters, like Jacob (Chris Perfetti) and Zack (Larry Owens), and healthy masculinity exhibited from the men on the show. 

In 2014, Williams played gay college student Lionel in Justin Simien’s film Dear White People. Reports of homophobic backlash towards his scenes within the film at different college screenings made headlines. Additionally, he confirmed In a HuffPost Live interview that he had received homophobic criticism after taking on the character. 

“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,” wrote Williams. “I refuse to inadvertently contribute to that message.”

Williams had a final word of encouragement to the LGBTQ+ and to everyone seeking to be their authentic selves.

“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,” wrote Williams. “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.”

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