Anna Webber/Getty; Steve Granitz/WireImage Lauren Jauregui and Camila Cabello
Chatting with Becky G on her En La Sala podcast, Jauregui spoke about her queer identity and how fan-made fabrications that she and her former Fifth Harmony bandmate "were into each other" made her "feel like a predator" before even coming out as queer.
"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 the "Worth It" girl group, fans of the group started writing fanfictions "shipping Camren" (fan lingo combining their first names, endorsing the two as a couple). In the fictional stories posted on Wattpad, Jauregui would typically be the one to convince 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."
The "Lento" singer makes it clear that the two had nothing but a "genuine friendship."
"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," she said. "I was very affectionate with all of my friends. We would tell each other s— 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."
The "Expectations" singer added that to this day she "hyper-analyzes" her connection with other women because of this. She also says that her fans are still convinced that their "relationship" was real.
"I've learned to just ignore it because it was just so traumatizing for me," she said. "I just chose to ignore it at a certain point because getting angry, to them, would mean that it was real and validated."
Jauregui explained that it made things worse for her to see these types of rumors surface at a time when she wasn't even out as queer to her own family.
Bryan Steffy/BET/Getty Ally Brooke, Normani, Camila Cabello, Lauren Jauregui and Dinah Jane in Fifth Harmony
"It really f—ed with my head because I wasn't even comfortable with telling my parents about it," she said. "I wasn't even comfortable telling myself that I was queer."
"I didn't see Camila that way so it just made me uncomfortable that I could potentially be putting off that kind of vibe onto someone who I wasn't trying to do that with. You feel me?" she added. "I was very uncomfortable and I absolutely didn't want to come out, because I was like, they're gonna 'confirm' that rumor, and then it's just gonna go in a whole 'nother direction and it's gonna get worse."
Along with the fan fabrications, Jauregui also opened up about being outed by fans on Twitter — and subsequently Perez Hilton — after one of her family members shared a photo of her kissing her then-girlfriend during a family wedding.
"We took a picture of us kissing right there was a picture of us, kind of kissing each other," she said, tearing up. "My aunt super innocently posted all the pictures from the photo booth onto her Facebook. And I have fans that are unreal invasive and followed her ... they found the picture and they posted it."
"I just remember being like 'oh my God, hopefully this doesn't blow up,'" she added. "And then Perez Hilton outed me in an article and used the picture. And then it went everywhere."
The Fifth Harmony alum said she was lucky that her parents "accepted" her, but called the situation traumatizing.
"My parents valued our relationship more than their proposed beliefs, and I am blessed because most people in Latinx households get kicked out. Most people end up on the street and homeless, because of this fake loyalty to a fake religion that was made up by some people and beat into you and your kids," she said.
"I was outed and I was like, 'oh my God this is really traumatizing and I'm just gonna crawl into a cave for a week and not say anything about it at all," she added. "And then I just kind of like was like, 'Okay, it happened, and people know. What am I gonna do?' I wrote that letter to Trump and his supporters for Billboard, and that's where I came out with myself, as myself. I'm owning this, and this is who I am and this is why I feel scared for me and my community right now."
Following the election of President Donald Trump in 2016, Jauregui penned a letter to the politician and his supporters. In it, she came out as bisexual.
"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," she wrote in the letter. "I am proud to be the granddaughter and daughter of immigrants who were brave enough to leave their homes and come to a whole new world with a different language and culture and immerse themselves fearlessly to start a better life for themselves and their families."
Jauregui has been an advocate for the LGBT community and the Black Lives Matter movement. She recently performed at an event encouraging people to vote.