Jojo Siwa Comes Out as LGBT+

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Jojo Siwa

Jojo Siwa proclaims she’s “the happiest [she’s] ever been!” after coming out as LGBT+ on social media (photo courtesy of Jojo Siwa).

Social media influencer and former Dance Moms star Jojo Siwa recently came out on social media as a member of the LGBT+ community. Siwa, known as a top-5 finalist and the youngest contestant for her two seasons on Dance Moms, has amassed a massive following on social media — including 10.7 million followers on Instagram and 32.9 million followers on TikTok — and has since launched an entertainment and music career. On Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, she has come out as LGBT+ and opened up about her relationship with her girlfriend, which has been met with near-universal support. 

Her first stage of coming out was on TikTok, with her lip-syncing the lyrics of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way — specifically, the lyrics that focused on the LGBT+ community. Back in June of 2020, she posted a TikTok where she danced to the same set of lyrics.

“I remember seeing that TikTok a while back of her dancing to [Born This Way]. I think at that point, we were all like, ‘Oh cool, she’s an ally!’ where now we’re like, ‘oh wait, she’s totally gay!’” said freshman Morgan Davis.

Her second stage of coming out was on Twitter, where she posted an image of her wearing a t-shirt saying “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.“ This picture was alongside the caption, “My cousin got me a new shirt.” 

Her final way of coming out was on her Instagram Live, where she openly came out as a member of the LGBT+ community. She said she wasn’t putting a label on it yet, but she knew she wasn’t straight.

“I caught her [Instagram] Live when she talked about it! She seemed so genuinely happy, she was grinning the whole time. I felt so happy for her,” said Davis.

For the most part, Siwa has been met with overwhelming support. Comments on her TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram Live have almost all been supportive and congratulative. Many social media influencers, including James Charles, Bretman Rock, and Nikkie de Jager, have congratulated her on her coming out. She’s also received support from former Dance Mom co-stars Kendall Vertes and Abby Lee Miller.

“It’s so awesome for kids to have a role model like her. Normalizing being gay is so important for kids who might eventually find out they’re gay themselves, and might have an easier time dealing with it than if it’s just a weird, foreign concept,” said sophomore Heather Johnson.

Many people have appreciated the casualness of her coming out. She’s been praised for presenting it as natural as possible, which would help normalize the concept of LGBT+ people for her primarily younger audience.

“JoJo’s pride in her identity and her confidence in shrugging off negative responses indicates that her social media presence will foster a sense of supportive community for LGBTQ youth,” said Traci Gillig, an assistant professor of communication at Washington State University, who studies the impacts of LGBTQ+ representation on young people. “She’s one more voice — and a big one — communicating to young LGBTQ people that they are loved.”

Overall, Jojo Siwa’s coming out has been met with a primarily positive response. She’s been praised for her courage for her truthfulness about her identity whilst having such a large platform. She’ll likely have a very positive impact with introducing her younger audience to the idea of being LGBT+ and making kids in that community feel more comfortable with their identities.