“Abbott Elementary” actor Tyler James Williams marked the start of Pride Month by speaking out against speculation of his sexuality, saying the “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 wrote in a June 4 Instagram story. “Overanalyzing someones 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 “Everybody Hates Chris” actor noted that this speculation can make everyday conversations “feel less safe” for members of the LGBTQ community and those who are still figuring out their sexualities.
He added that it also “reinforces an archetype” that can limit individual expression. The 30-year-old said that he aims to use his platform to “push back against those archetypes.”
“Being straight doesn’t look one way. Being gay doesn’t look one way,” he wrote. “And what may seem like harmless fun and conversation may actually be sending a dangerous message to those struggle with real issues. I refuse to inadvertently contribute to that message.”
He then addressed his “queer and questioning brothers, sisters, and individuals” and shared a message of support, writing, “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,” he concluded the statement.
Tyler’s message was met with support from his younger brothers, Tyrel Jackson Williams, 26, and Tylen Jacob Williams, 21.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, Tyrel, known for starring in “Lab Rats” and “Brockmire,” celebrated how his older brother handled both Tylen’s and his own coming out journeys.
“He COMPLETELY deconstructed his views on masculinity and made sure to build spaces for us to be comfortable and seen until we were ready to tell our friends/family,” Tyrel wrote. “We all rebuilt our definition of manhood together, brick-by-brick. And it was not easy work. But we weren’t doing it alone.”
Tyrel concluded his thread by calling his older brother a “true representation of healthy masculinity and effective allyship.”
The youngest Williams sibling, Tylen, shared screenshots of Tyrel’s thread on his Instagram, using the caption to pen a heartfelt message about his older brothers, who he cited as the reason he was able to become “well adjusted” and “comfortable” with his sexuality.
“The way Tyler unashamedly and instantaneously accepted me and Tyrels coming out without batting an eye and continued to rally behind us and fight for us whenever we needed it, even when we felt as though we could not, speaks volumes for people like me and how powerful it is to have such an active straight ally in your life,” he wrote.
He concluded the message with a summary of his intentions for the post, writing, “Learn how to act, Respect others, show my brothers some love for being so damn intelligent, and Happy Pride.”
Tyler had a touching response to his youngest brother’s post, writing in the comments, “I love you kid and I’ll drag anyone to hell for you. Thank you.”