Last January, JoJo Siwa came out as gay to her millions of fans and followers, and in the year since, she’s publicly embraced her newfound status as an LGBTQ icon for her many young fans around the world. Now, she’s celebrating a year since the important milestone, opening up about how it felt to share her sexuality with a world that still cruelly mistreats LGBTQ youth simply for being who they are.
Taking to Instagram to share a gallery of photos and videos highlighting her experiences over the past year, she posted a heartfelt caption about being a role model to kids who look up to her for being herself without apologizing for it. “🏳️🌈In the last 365 days I’ve felt more love than ever. A year ago today I posted this picture and shared with the world that I was gay🌈,” she began. “I get asked a lot ‘was coming out scary for you’… and the answer is yes of course, anything that’s different about you is scary, however… it’s what makes me… me. so I had no fear with sharing it with the world❤️.”
Of managing potential commentary or backlash from homophobic parents of her fans, Siwa added, “I also get asked a lot ‘your demographic is so young are you worried about telling kids your gay’…. Truthfully I feel like I was put on this earth to be a role model for kids, 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❤️.”
Speaking directly to her fanbase, the teen phenom added, “please never forget that no matter who you are, what you look like, who you LOVE that you are absolutely perfect. thank you for showing me the most love throughout this year and throughout my entire life. I love you all❤️🙏🏼🏳️🌈.”
Of course, when young celebrities like Siwa are open about embracing their identities, it helps chip away harmful and outdated stigmas about sexuality that still prevail in many societies. Bravo to her for serving as a force for positive change just by being herself, and for reminding others that they’re perfect just as they are, too. Here’s hoping we’ll someday exist in a world where differences are celebrated and not stigmatized.