Empire star Jussie Smollett has opened up about being a gay celebrity in Hollywood and revealed that he is not going to hide who he is. Smollett plays gay singer Jamal Lyon in the Fox' show Empire, which is set to return with season 3 on 21 September.
Smollett will appear on the cover of Attitude magazine's September issue alongside Naomi Campbell. In an interview with the magazine, the Empire actor said, "I get tired of the idea of someone telling me what my truth is. I've said from the beginning of my journey: I do not hide who I am. I love who I love. No one is going to tell me that somehow that is going to be my disability."
According to the 33-year-old, being himself has helped him move forward in his career. "I am told so many times that I should not walk truly in my blackness. That I should not walk truly in my sexuality, I should not walk truly in who I am. I say thanks but no thanks, f**k you and goodbye. I honestly think that me being myself has actually helped my career move forward."
Smollett also believes that homosexuality has always been a part of American culture. "This is American culture. The fact of the matter is, there was Little Richard and Sylvester but there was also Rock Hudson. This idea of homophobia, this idea of hiding, of not being able to truly be who you really are, well I hate to tell my nation, but we are American culture," he said.