Jojo Siwa’s Coming Out Story Inspires Millions

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Photo By @jojosiwa

Jojo Siwa came out on TikTok by posting a video of herself singing along to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which is widely viewed as an LGBTQIA+ anthem. Photo courtesy of @jojosiwa

Jojo Siwa began 2021 with a sky filled with rainbows by coming out on TikTok. On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Siwa posted a TikTok singing along to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”, which is widely viewed as an LGBTQIA+ anthem. Then two days later, on Friday, Jan. 22, Siwa posted a photo on Twitter with the caption “My cousin gave me a new shirt.” The shirt had the words “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” printed on it. Finally, in an Instagram live on Saturday, Jan. 23, Siwa confirmed that she was part of the LGBTQIA+ community, and thanked her fans for their continuous support.

“It’s OK to not be normal, it’s OK to be a little different, it’s OK to be a little weird, it’s OK to be a little strange,” Siwa said during her Instagram live. “And I think a lot of people are afraid of being different, and that’s something we should never, ever, ever be afraid of; it’s something we should be proud of and that we should celebrate because we all get to be so different, and it’s so cool and so awesome!” 

Coming out stories aren’t anything new. Social media provides a new and easy way for those wanting to share their identity. However, Siwa’s coming out story is definitely one for the books. As someone with a fanbase almost exclusively younger than her, coming out may be trickier than it sounds. Too many parents don’t want to see their children’s influencers normalize the LGBTQIA+ community. Coming out may result in a downfall to her success, or perhaps a downfall in sales for Siwa’s plentiful merchandise line. Nevertheless, Siwa came out with a big shining smile on her face, indicating that she was proud of being herself, and the youngins looking up to her should feel the same way about themselves.

“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,” Traci Gillig, an assistant professor of communication at Washington State University who studies the impacts of LGBTQ+ representation on young people said to CNN. “She’s one more voice, and a big one, communicating to young LGBTQ people that they are loved.”

The reaction on social media was mainly very positive, with celebrities including Ellen DeGeneres and Paris Hilton providing her support. Many parents expressed their support with one even commenting, “This is HUGE, and such a profound statement for so many kiddos out there!! Our daughter loves you, and I rushed into her room last night when I heard, and had the longest talk with her about you coming out! What incredible representation she gets not just from her Moms, but from her idol as well!! How awesome is that?! Love your bravery, love your enthusiasm, and love that you have chosen YOU and your truth!! Thank you for being such an incredible example for so many! All the love, and welcome to the fam.” However, many parents became aggravated with the news, with multiple adults coming into Siwa’s Instagram comments and commenting that they would not allow their children to watch Siwa again.

Her coming out story shows how much the world has changed. In the past, celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Bella Thorne, and Hayley Kiyoko were disowned by their brands after revealing their sexual orientation. Unfortunately, a lot more work needs to be accomplished in order for people to feel completely safe coming out as Siwa was swatted shortly after she came out. A 17-year-old girl should not have to face 50 police officers for simply living her life and being happy. People need to understand that being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community isn’t something that someone should feel ashamed about. It’s 2021, and the fact that people are still contemplating disrupting people’s lives for their sexual orientation is sickening.

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