JoJo Siwa Celebrates One Year Since Coming Out With A Powerful Speech
“No matter who you are, no matter who you love, it’s okay.”
One year after coming out as gay, JoJo Siwa is reminding her fans to be themselves and love who they love. On Friday, Jan. 21, the 18-year-old internet sensation addressed the crowd at Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield, Calif., and reflected on the last year. “Before I sing this next song, I have something that I want to talk about,” she said, according to Daily Mail. “A year ago, I posted a picture that changed my life. It was me wearing a T-shirt. It said ‘best gay cousin ever.’ That shirt changed my life because that’s how I told the Internet that I was gay.”
The announcement, posted on Jan. 22, 2021, captured the attention of several LGBTQ+ celebrities and allies. Lil Nas X, Paris Hilton, Ellen DeGeneres, Bella Thorne, and Todrick Hall were among the many stars who offered their support. The former Dance Moms star was so moved by the positive responses that she shared a video on Instagram soon after letting her followers know that “it’s been the best 48 hours” and that she has received “the most endless amount of love and support.”
Before officially coming out to the world last January, Siwa dropped a few subtle hints that she was gay, including a TikTok of her dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” “The reason why I love that song so much is because it says ‘No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgender life I’m on the right track baby I was born to survive,’” she told the crowd at Friday’s concert. “Those lyrics made me realize for myself that it was okay to love who I wanted to love.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum also revealed whether or not she was “afraid” to come out to her young fans. “I am definitely not afraid of telling my young demographic that loving everybody for who they are was exactly what you should do,” she said. “I want to tell you that no matter who you are, no matter who you love, it’s okay.” Siwa certainly took that advice for herself; on Nov. 2, she confirmed on This Is Paris that she called it quits with girlfriend Kylie Prew after one year together. In December, she was rumored to be dating Katie Mills but claimed to be single on TikTok earlier this month.
While it’s unclear where Siwa’s love life stands right now, what is clear is that she has no regrets about coming out. “In the last 365 days I’ve felt more love than ever,” she wrote on Instagram on Saturday, Jan. 22. And although telling the world was scary at the time, she knew she had to do it. “Truthfully I feel like I was put on this earth to be a role model for kids,” she said, “and letting all the kids of the world know that loving everyone for who they are no matter what is something that I will always believe in and always share.”
Siwa, who boasts 40.3 million followers on TikTok and 11.4 million followers on Instagram, closed out her emotional social media post by reminding her fans and followers that they are perfect and worthy of love exactly as they are. “Please never forget that no matter who you are, what you look like, who you LOVE, that you are absolutely perfect,” she added. “Thank you for showing me the most love throughout this year and throughout my entire life. I love you all.”