JoJo Siwa is living her truth with plenty of sparkles, but without any labels.
The 17-year-old singer, actor and YouTube superstar — who has cultivated a massive following of millions of young fans — has confirmed she is a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Days after sharing a video of herself lip-syncing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” and showing off a new T-shirt that said “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever,” Siwa addressed the speculation over her sexuality in a 15-minute Instagram Live on Saturday.
“For the last 48 hours, I have gotten the most endless amount of love and support,” she said. “And now that the world gets to see this side of my life, it makes me really happy.”
In response to a livestream viewer who asked how she chooses to identify, Siwa said she wasn’t ready to put any labels on herself just yet.
“I have thought about this, but the reason I’m not going to say this answer is because I don’t really know this answer. I think humans are awesome, I think humans are really incredible people,” she said. “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. 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.”
Siwa acknowledged that while coming out might seem like this “really, really scary thing” and that it’s certainly “harder for some people and easier for some people,” she wanted to push back against the stigma of the process.
“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,” she continued. “That’s something we should never, ever be afraid of. That’s something we should be proud of.”
Responding to another fan who asked how long she’s been a part of the LGBTQ+ community, the star said, “I don’t know, I think my whole life. Because my whole life, I’ve really, really been ... I 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. 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.”
Both her parents have been supportive of her coming out journey, she said, explaining that her mom has “known for the last two years.”
“She’s like, ‘I just know with you!’ Around two years ago, she was like, ‘I don’t think you only like boys, that’s totally OK.’ They’ve always been so everything ... My family is awesome.”
Since coming out, Siwa has also received love from fellow celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres, James Charles, Paris Hilton and Lil Nas X.
Siwa first rose to fame on the “Dance Moms” spinoff “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition,” which she first appeared on in 2013 when she was 9, before joining the flagship series for multiple seasons. By her 13th birthday, she’d already released her first of many chart-topping singles.
Siwa has since become one of the most-followed creators on YouTube, inked a multiyear and highly lucrative deal with Nickelodeon, and transformed herself into a multimillion-dollar global brand.