"I was 18 and absolutely not trying to come out to the public. This is gonna be a controversial acknowledgment but whatever," the 24-year-old said. "People thought Camila and I were into each other. And that made me so uncomfortable, like disgustingly uncomfortable because I was queer but she was not."
While the two were in Fifth Harmony for over four years together, fans created fan-fiction love stories about Jauregui and Cabello — who now dates Shawn Mendes. In these made-up stories, Jauregui was normally the one convincing Cabello into a romantic relationship. "It made me feel like a predator because of the type of clips people would put together and the type of stories people would write," she added. "I was always the aggressor and I was always the one turning her ... I also did not have that connection with her."
Jauregui said these rumors "really f**ked with my head because I wasn't even comfortable with telling my parents about it," she confessed. "I wasn't even comfortable telling myself that I was queer."
The "Expectations" singer made it clear she and the 23-year-old simply had a "genuine friendship." She explained: "Camila and I were just very good friends at that time. We respected each other, we would talk, we would look at each other, we had love for each other."
Jauregui noted she was "very affectionate with all of my friends. We would tell each other sh*t that, yeah, maybe you would think we were gay if you were listening over but we weren't. That wasn't the interaction so that actually made me so uncomfortable."
Along with dealing with the fan fabrications, she was eventually outed by Perez Hilton after a family member posted a photo of her kissing her then-girlfriend at a wedding. "My aunt super innocently posted all the pictures from the photo booth onto her Facebook," Jauregui explained. "And I have fans that are unreal invasive and followed her ... they found the picture and they posted it," and then "Perez Hilton outed me in an article and used the picture. And then it went everywhere."
While her family "accepted" her after she came out as queer, Jauregui said the public outing was "really traumatizing." Once it was out there, the former Fifth Harmony member recalled thinking, "Okay, it happened, and people know. What am I gonna do?"
Jauregui officially came out as bisexual in a letter to Donald Trump and his supporters, following his 2016 election. "I wrote that letter to Trump and his supporters for Billboard, and that's where I came out with myself, as myself," she said. "I'm owning this, and this is who I am and this is why I feel scared for me and my community right now."
In the letter, she wrote: "I am a bisexual Cuban-American woman and I am so proud of it. I am proud to be part of a community that only projects love and education and the support of one another."