Jussie Smollett Talks Coming Out and Snagging a Role on Empire

(Photo: Essence Magazine, June 2015)

Jussie Smollett Talks Coming Out and Snagging a Role on Empire

"If I can help someone else feel less alone... I'm happy," he said.

Published May 12, 2015

(Photo: Essence Magazine, June 2015)

Jussie Smollett is one of the cover boys for the June 2015 issue of Essence magazine. In his cover story, the Empire breakout star dishes on how he got the role of Jamal Lyon on the hit FOX drama and inspiring others through living in his truth.

"I jumped on Instagram and direct-messaged Lee [Daniels] and said, 'Sir, I know you get this all the time, but I'm a singer, actor, dancer, songwriter and musician," he said. "I am Jamal Lyon in more ways than one."

Seeing as the triple threat has no reservations in grabbing the bull by the horns, his coming out story was seamless and proved to inspire others to do the same. People reports that, when speaking on this, the 32-year-old said, "If I can help someone else feel less alone, no matter what they're going through, I'm happy to have that opportunity."


Smollett opened up to Ellen Degeneres back in March about his sexuality, revealing that he never even considered himself to be closeted — he was simply living in his truth. "The sun rose the next day, the clouds were out and I was still able to go to Whole Foods," he said. "And my mother said, 'Hey, baby,' like she always does. Nothing changed."

The second season of Empire is set to premiere this fall, and while Jussie refused to spill the beans on what to expect, he did give one tidbit: "[It] will make season one look like The Brady Bunch."

The June 2015 issue of Essence magazine is available in four different covers featuring the young men of Empire: Jussie Smollett, Bryshere "Yazz" Gray and Trai Byers. The fourth cover features all three of the actors. Pick up your copy on newsstands May 15.

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Written by Moriba Cummings


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