By Riley Gillis on January 28, 2021
Beloved by children around the world for her bright, sparkly outfits and the beaming smile and oversized bows that go everywhere with her, JoJo Siwa has a made a name for herself through her YouTube vlogs and apps like Instagram and TikTok.
But the former Dance Moms star is making headlines after coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community through a series of social media posts last week.
Earlier this month, Siwa posted an immediately viral video on TikTok seeming to hint at her sexuality, in which she passionately lip synched to Lady Gaga’s iconic self expression anthem “Born This Way.”
After much speculation from fans that Siwa was subtly coming out, she seemingly confirmed the rumors on Friday, Jan. 22, posting a picture to Twitter of a shirt reading “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” with the caption, “my cousin got me a new shirt.”
My cousin got me a new shirt pic.twitter.com/DuHhgRto7b
— JoJo Siwa!🌈❤️🎀 (@itsjojosiwa) January 22, 2021
In an Instagram Live on Saturday, Jan. 23, Siwa confirmed the news and shared her overwhelming happiness at living freely and receiving an outpouring of support from her fans.
“Personally, I have never ever been this happy,” Siwa said.
However, she refrained from putting a specific label on her identity, saying, “I’m not ready to say this answer because I don’t really know this answer…I think humans are incredible people.”
Siwa added, “Right now, what matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love that’s OK, and that it’s awesome, and the world is there for you!
“I always believed that my person was going to be my person and if that person happened to be a boy great and if that person happened to be a girl great!”
Siwa beamed with happiness as she addressed her loyal fans, saying, “I’m just so happy! I’m the happiest I have ever been!”
One Twitter user went viral after perfectly encapsulating the significance of Siwa’s coming out and subsequent pride and happiness in her identity.
“If you don’t think jojo siwa coming out as gay is a big deal; just remember that there are lgbt kids that watch her videos that may have felt so alone with their identity and seeing the person they look up to coming out makes them feel safer and more comfortable with themselves,” they wrote.
if you don't think jojo siwa coming out as gay is a big deal;
just remember that there are lgbt kids that watch her videos that may have felt so alone with their identity and seeing the person they look up to coming out makes them feel safer and more comfortable with themselves
— 🌸 bi rights (@sapphicbisexual) January 22, 2021
By Justin Walton on May 9, 2022
The Maine Republican Party has adopted amendments to their official party platform indicating their support for anti-LGBTQ legislation -- continuing the trend of GOP politicians seizing on a culture-war issue they believe will work to their benefit ahead of this year's midterm elections.
At a raucous and occasionally unruly convention in Augusta on April 29, the party adopted amendments ranging from calling for schools to prohibit "sexual-based material" in schools through 12th grade to proposed bans on "critical race theory" being taught in the classroom.
We can't trap our children in classrooms and force radical ideology on them," Elizabeth Caruso, a Republican candidate for Maine's 2nd Congressional District, said in a speech. "The attack on our children's physical, emotional, mental and scholastic development must end. It's abuse. Republican lawmakers must fight this battle and win."
By Justin Walton on May 2, 2022
In spite of the United Kingdom government and its Prime Minister Boris Johnson refusing to ban the practice of conversion therapy on transgender individuals, the government of Wales plans to institute a ban of its own.
By signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NHS Wales -- the country's publicly funded healthcare system -- Welsh government Deputy Minister for Social Partnership Hannah Blythyn stated that the practice will be "prohibited" in Wales.
Any organization, group, or company that works in "mental or psychological health" and signs onto the MOU makes a "commitment" to not offer conversion therapy in the country, though this agreement does not extend to other parts of the United Kingdom.
As more states make moves to bar LGBTQ content from schools in the name of parental rights, conservative supporters of such legislation have increasingly accused opponents of the law -- especially LGBTQ rights advocates -- as "groomers."
The word "groomer" is a politically-charged term, because it plays on age-old homophobic tropes casting gay men and LGBTQ individuals as pedophiles who intend to sexually abuse children.
Proponents of legislation like Florida's "Parental Rights in Education" bill (dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill by critics) argue that exposing minors to even the mere concept of sexual orientation or gender identity, even in history, biology, or sexual education classes, is inappropriate and will encourage impressionable youth to claim they are LGBTQ.
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