Former Dance Moms star and Tween superstar, JoJo Siwa, has revealed to her legions of fans that she does not identify as straight.
Taking to her Instagram, the 17-year-old — who boasts a following of 10.3 million —confirmed the news after previously alluding to it in a TikTok video, lip-synching to Lady Gaga’s LGBTQ anthem Born This Way.
The video was followed up with a photo of herself wearing a T-shirt she says she received from her cousin that read: “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.”
My cousin got me a new shirt pic.twitter.com/DuHhgRto7b
— JoJo Siwa!🌈❤️🎀 (@itsjojosiwa) January 22, 2021
In a video posted to her account on January 24, Siwa said, “Personally I have never, ever, ever been this happy before and it feels really awesome. I‘ve been happy for a little bit now. It’s just so, so, so awesome. You guys probably haven’t seen me this happy since I was on tour.”
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The singer and social media star has refrained from putting any finite labels on herself as yet, saying she’s not fully sure where she stands with them at this time and doesn’t want to apply any while she’s still figuring things out.
“I think humans are awesome, I think humans are really incredible people. Right now, I’m super duper happy and I want to share everything with the world but I also want to keep things in my life private until they are ready to be public,” she explained in the video.
Sharing words of encouragement to her millions of fans, many of whom are tweens and teens, Siwa said, “Right now what matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love, that it’s OK. It’s awesome and the world is there for you. There are so many people that are there for you.”
“I know everyone’s situation is different and it might be harder for some people and it might be easier for some people to come out or be themselves but I think coming out has this stigma around it — that it’s this really, really, really scary thing, but it’s not anymore. There are so many accepting and loving people out there that it’s OK,” she continued.
Acknowledging that not everyone will be supportive of her decision to come out, Siwa said that she hoped her message would inspire others to put their own happiness in front of the opinions of others.
“Of course people are going to say it‘s not normal, but nothing is normal. Literally not one thing about anybody is normal and it’s OK not to be normal, it’s OK to be a little different, it’s OK to be a little weird, strange, different. That’s something we should never, ever be afraid of. That’s something we should be proud of,” she said.
The reality star then told her followers that while she has yet to fall in love, she has always known that she would be comfortable being in a relationship with a man or a woman and that her mother seemed to know before she did that she was not straight.
“My parents have known. My mom said she’s known for the last two years. She’s like, ’I just know with you!’,” Siwa said. “Around two years ago, she was like, ‘I don’t think you only like boys, that’s totally okay.’”
Siwa, who was included on Time’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020, was quickly embraced with words of support from multiple celebrities including rapper Lil Nas X who is openly gay, and Ellen DeGeneres.