Teen celebrity superstar JoJo Siwa is over the moon after sharing with her followers and fans that she is part of the LGBTQ+ community.
“I’m just -- I am really, really happy,” the 17-year-old said in an Instagram Live. “I’ve been happy in this land for a minute now and now I just get to share that with the world.”
The singer shared a photo on Twitter Saturday of herself wearing a shirt she said was gifted from her cousin with the words, “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.”
Upon sharing the news with the world, Siwa received praise and support from her fans.
“My niece is gonna LOVE seeing this!” said a fan on Twitter. “She’s 7 and absolutely idolizes you. She’s young, but she nervously told my sister a while ago that she likes girls, not boys. My mom and I are sure to tell her she can like anyone she wants to, that’d never change how we view or love her.”
Prominent LGBTQ celebrities from Todrick Hall and Lil Nas X to Ellen DeGeneres also shared their support for the teen singer.
“Happy for you and happy for how you’re going to change the world,” tweeted Hall. “Children need to see this! Me = crying.”
Siwa, who has been in the public eye ever since appearing on the popular “Dance Moms” series, is known for her over-the-top personality and big bows and has sold out stadiums across the country on tours.
Her YouTube page alone attracts 12 million subscribers, most of them young children who look up to her and her message of positivity.
While Siwa is happy and excited to share who she is with the world, she said she still isn’t ready to share any specific label for herself.
“Somebody said, ‘what label are you?’ I have thought about this, and the reason why I’m not ready to say this answer is because I don’t really know this answer,” Siwa told her followers on Instagram. “Right now, I’m super duper happy and I want to share everything with the world. I really do. But I also want to keep things in my life private until they’re ready to go public.”
She also used the moment to reach out to her fans who are struggling to come out themselves.
“What matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love, that it’s okay and that it’s awesome and that the world is there for you,” she said. “Everyone’s situation is different and it might be harder for some people and it might be easier for some people to come out or to be themselves.”
“But I think coming out has this stigma around it that it’s a really, really scary thing,” she added. “People are going to say it’s not normal, but it’s your normal … It’s OK to be different. And I think a lot of people are afraid of being different, and that’s something that we should never, ever, be afraid of. It’s something we should be proud of and that we should celebrate.”
In response to Siwa's announcement, GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis commended her for being a role model for other LGBTQ youth.
“As one of the most influential young role models today, Jojo’s story is a reminder for LGBTQ youth to love who they are and to find safe and welcoming environments to speak out,” said Ellis in a tweet. “[Her] decision to share her truth with the world is a powerful moment that is being celebrated by the millions around the world who admire her.”