“Usually I wouldn’t address stuff like this but I feel like it as a 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 closed person ‘let slip’ is very dangerous,” the Everybody Hates Chris alum, 30, wrote in a lengthy statement shared via his Instagram Stories on Saturday, June 3. “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. It makes the most pedestrian of conversations and interactions in spaces feel less safe for our gay brothers and sisters and those who may be questioning.”
Williams — who has previously been linked to Karina Pasian and Anastasia Baranova, respectively — noted that such analytical antics can reinforce “unrealistic” archetypes that many men have to “live under,” which, in turn, limits their “individual expression.”
The Wedding Year star — who rose to fame as a child actor — explained that he has tried to be “very clear about the intentionality” of his actions and what he shares on his public platform in a bid to “push back against those archetypes.”
He added on Saturday: “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.”
Williams noted that he refused to “inadvertently contribute” to such rhetoric and offered a sweet Pride Month message to members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I pray that you feel seen in ways that make you feel safe in the celebration that is this month,” he wrote in his social media upload. “As an ally, I continue to be committed to assisting in that where I can and helping cultivate a future where we are all accepted and given permission to be ourselves.”
The Walking Dead alum has long been private about his love life, but he is a fervent shipper of his Abbott character Gregory Eddie’s will-they-won’t-they romance with Janine Teagues (played by Quinta Brunson).
“I love the innocent places we get to go to,” Williams exclusively told Us Weekly at PaleyFest in April. “[And] that we’re not trying to make this too complicated or sexy. It’s the little moments and it’s reminding people that that’s what courting relationships are … it’s the little moments. That’s what I love most.”
Gregory and Janine’s chemistry will continue in the fall on ABC’s Abbott Elementary season 3.