JoJo Siwa in her signature side pony and bright colours
I’m sorry, JoJo who? Well you’re about get schooled in tween-tertainment. This week child star and international role model for kids came out as LGBTQ+ on her multitude of social media platforms and it’s an event not to be taken lightly.
‘Why would I know who some rando child star is?’ you cry. Well, chances are you might have seen her somewhere and her side pony and luminous colours have been her signature in reality tv land. Some of you perhaps only became aware of Siwa when Lemon uncannily played her during the Snatch Game challenge on last year’s debut season of Canada’s Drag Race.
Jojo Siwa first popped up on Dance Mom’s starring in seasons 5 and 6 of the immensely popular reality show. Since then she has released numerous hit singles and is regular YouTuber with some huge numbers (over 12 million subscribers and over 3.4 billion views). As she’s grown up and she’s taken us on trips around her VERY pastel and toy laden home, the whole look has erred on the side of creepy but the kids love it (clearly). In 2020 she was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine. All of this and she’s only 17 years old.
You get the gist with JoJo just from the imagery
All of this adds up to her coming out as a huge story for the LGBTQ community. While Siwa wasn’t specific, when asked by fans how she identified, she said she ‘doesn’t really know this answer’ and on January 22nd posted a pic of herself in a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogan ‘BEST. GAY COUSIN. EVER’
Siwa released a 15-minute video talk about how happy she is to have come out, it’s a hugely positive step and paves the way for other kids who might be struggling with their sexuality. Coming out can be a very scary time for people and as much as society has advanced, there are pockets of homophobia and discrimination wherever you go. For a huge child star who people look to for inspiration and hope to come out, it paves the way for so many kids who internalise these worries.
As is usually the case, there has been some negativity but it's JoJo’s dealing with it that’s shown strength of character. When someone replied to the video saying that her daughter would no longer be watching her videos, Siwa’s response was superb, simply saying ‘okay!’. Pure class and whatever you may have thought of her before, that’s some positive vibes right there.