'Empire' Star Jussie Smollet Is Proud To Be a Role Model For The LGBT Community & Beyond, & He's Totally Inspiring
Ever since Fox premiered its hit show Empire, Lucious Lyon and his infamous family have won the hearts of viewers from all over the country. Besides the beloved and sassy Cookie Lyon, the matriarch ingeniously played by Taraji P. Henson, the character of Jamal Lyon has become one of the shows standouts. On the show, the talented middle brother of the Lyon clan is tormented by having to hide his sexuality and by tumultuous relationship with his father. But in real life, the actor behind Jamal, Jussie Smollet is proud of being gay and very open about his struggles and the inspiring moments he's encountered after being thrust in the spotlight.
In a recent interview with E! News, Smollet shared an emotional moment with a fan that left him in tears,
I get really incredible people... This girl came to a signing and she showed me she had cuts on her arm and she said, I swear to god, she said she was about to commit suicide and just happened to see me on Ellen and it changed her life. And she cried to me and I literally started bawling, 'cause I am a little sucker for emotion... But that stuff right there is crazy to think that you can have such a affect on someone's life. It touches me in a really, really deep way.
In case you haven't seen it, the Ellen interview which he is referencing to here was absolutely inspiring. After an appearance on her show, Smollet asked DeGeneres to sit down with him backstage for a quick video in which he reiterated that he has never hid his sexuality, nor lied about it. He continued,
It was really important to me to make sure that it got across that there is no closet... I just wanted to make that clear... Let's not read into it the wrong way when I say that I don't talk about my personal life. I'm saying that, but there is no way to hide or deny who God made me, you know?
Yes! All the standing ovations to this beautiful and smart man right here! I admire Smollet for recognizing that he has a unique platform to stand on as an entertainer and he can be an inspiration to so many people around the world dealing with issues such as sexuality or just feeling like they're different. Many artists like to go with the "I'm not a role model" route, but when it comes to standing up for what is right, Jussie Smollet is poised and ready.
In the vein of his Ellen video announcement, he also recently spoke to Vanity Fair about the responsibility he feels to support the LGBT community and beyond. He shared,
I feel a responsibility, but do not feel pressure. There is a responsibility for me as a man, as a man of color, as an artist to be myself and make things that reflect me and that are true. That’s what matters. It’s about all of us, not a particular group of people. I hope to make an impact on society and the world and as a human being, that’s what’s real and what I want to do.
Because in the end, we really are all one in the same, and I am so happy we have people like Jussie Smollet sharing his life and wisdom with us.
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