Earlier, Trace Lysette, transgender and the founding mother of the house of Gorgeous Gucci, critiqued the show. She tweeted. ‘‘Lol... I interviewed for this gig. As the mother of a house for nearly a decade, it’s kind of mind-blowing when ppl with no connection to our culture gets the gig. This is not shading towards Jameela, I love all that she stands for. If anything I question the decision-makers.’’
Jamil put out a statement denying her role as MC and blaming @deadline for the mistake. She also responded to Trace saying: “Hey trace. I think you auditioned to be one of the house mothers. I’m just one of the judges. Not a house mother. We weren’t up for the same thing. @deadline is wrong. I’m NOT the MC. The brilliant @DashaunWesley is. I think you’re f***ing amazing, in every way.’’
Trace replied: “I don’t have to audition to be a house mother... I am one. I remember the convo well. It was a convo in regard to being a host/producer. At least that’s what my manager at the time worked out. I never heard back. I send you to love too. But I will always speak my truth..’’
After backlash from others as well, Jameela finally put out a statement wherein she came out as queer.
The title said “Twitter is brutal” Part of what she wrote said: “I know that my being queer doesn’t qualify me as a ballroom. But I have privilege and power and a large following to bring to this show (as does the absolutely iconic Megan Thee Stallion) and its beautiful contestants and ballroom hosts. Sometimes it takes those with more power to help a show get off the ground so we can elevate marginalized stars that deserve the limelight and give them a chance. ‘I’m not the MC. I’m not the main host. I’m just a lead judge due to my 11 years of hosting experience, being fully impartial, a newcomer to ballroom (like the music of the audience will be) and therefore a window in for people who are just discovering it now, and being a long time ally of the LGBTQ community.’’
The actress-activist faced criticism for this as well.
Trace continued to say: “Being queer does not make your ballroom. Being any number of marginalized identities does not make your ballroom. The only thing that makes your ballroom is if you are actually from it. And most of us who are from it, sought it out when we had no one else.”
Twitter user @genderpunksap said:
“1). Congrats on coming out and I'm sorry it had to be like this. But 2). "it wouldn't sell with more marginalized people so I'm going to take a place that should have belonged to them" is a terrible response.”