In case you missed it, over the weekend, 17-year-old Nickelodeon star JoJo Siwa started dropping clues that she identifies as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.
First, on Friday, she released a TikTok of her partying in her room with a hoodie on, lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, an LGBTQIA+ anthem about celebrating yourself for who you are. Shortly after, she was spotted dancing in videos with members of the Pride House, an LGBTQIA+ TikTok house.
Then, a few hours later, Siwa posted a photo of herself on Twitter wearing a shirt effectively confirming the big news: simply put, she’s the “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.”
Since coming out, Siwa has been met with loving comments from fellow celebrity members of the LGBTQIA+ community, including Lil Nas X, Ellen DeGeneres and Mxmtoon — and now, her former Dance Moms instructor Abby Lee Miller!
“I always knew the world would be a more colourful, positive, sparkly place with a kind, loving, dazzling triple threat like you in it,” Lee Miller wrote in an Instagram post featuring the pair on set of Dance Moms many years ago.
“A shining example for the kids out there to live their best lives each and every day. Love you kiddo!! Keep making me proud," the 55-year-old signed off her heartfelt tribute.
Hours before Miller’s comments, Siwa went on Instagram Live to answer fans’ questions. “How long have you been a part of the [LGBTQIA+] community,” one fan asked. “How long have you been whatever you are?”
“I don’t know,” Siwa said. “I think my whole life. Because my whole life, I’ve just liked people, but I have never fallen in love before."
"But, I always believed that my person was just going to be my person," she added. "If that person happened to be a boy, great! And if that person happened to be a girl, great! I think I’m just really happy. I think in life you know when you meet your person, I really do.”
You can watch the full Instagram Live here. It’s important to note that Siwa has yet to label herself — and also doesn’t need to. Someone can still be part of the LGBTQIA+ community without self-identifying with one individual letter.
Props to JoJo Siwa for finally feeling comfortable to share this side of her to the world! Coming out is always a daunting and scary process, but even more intimidating when you’re an entertainer with over ten million followers online. She’s already becoming a beacon of queer hope among young queer teens, and children of queer parents, everywhere.
“I’m so happy for JoJo Siwa 'cause I’m a big fan of hers,” an enthusiastic fan said in a TikTok clip. “I can tell she’s very happy and that makes me super happy.”
“Even though I’m nine, I know what it means to come out. It means for someone to be themselves normally. It’s especially great to see this ‘cause I’m a kid being raised by two m[u]ms.”
Lead image source: Getty.