JoJo Siwa has one of the youngest fanbases in entertainment with throngs of preteens and teens watching her YouTube videos, listening to her catchy pop songs, and following her every move on social media. With her face emblazoned on merchandise ranging from apparel to dolls in her likeness, coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community recently was a risky move for the mogul.
In a new interview with People, the star said that she has no regrets about her decision even though it has caused her to lose sleep. Despite the stress around it, Siwa said that now is, “the first time that I’ve felt so personally happy.”
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“I work a lot,” Siwa told People. “But I do normal things!”
Although she insisted that she does “normal” things, the 17-year-old is currently editing an upcoming summer move called The J Team, negotiating new branding deals, and meticulously crafting TikTok videos to share with her fans.
As you might imagine with someone so young with so much on her plate, she did admit to having an occasional bad day.
“My struggles deal with being overworked and not getting any sleep,” Siwa told the outlet. “Do I ever have breakdowns? Yes, of course I do. I’m a teenager. There are a lot of times where I just will throw my phone down and lay on my bed and look at the ceiling and cry for a second.”
Born in 2003 just before the rise of Facebook, Siwa does not know a world in which having a smartphone is not an asset. “My phone keeps me connected to the world!”
It indeed has helped her connect to the LGBTQ community before and after she came out in January. In a series of social media posts which included a photo of the teen wearing a shirt that said “BEST GAY COUSIN EVER,” her lip-synching to Lady Gaga‘s “Born This Way,” and a series of other posts, the young mogul confirmed her sexuality.
Shortly after revealing that she landed somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum, Siwa shared her girlfriend, Kylie Prew with her world.
“She never cares what the internet said about us,” Siwa said of Prew to People. “It’s nice to have somebody in my life like that.”
The “Hold the Drama” singer described herself as the “happiest person alive” said that she struggled with how to “label” her sexuality.
“I still don’t know what I am. It’s like, I want to figure it out. And I have this joke. Her name is Kylie. And so I say that I’m Ky-sexual,” Siwa explained. “But like, I don’t know, bisexual, pansexual, queer, lesbian, gay, straight. I always just say gay because it just kind of covers it or queer because I think the keyword is cool.”
“I like queer,” she elaborated. “Technically I would say that I am pansexual because that’s how I have always been my whole life is just like, my human is my human.”
“I never wanted [my coming out] to be a big deal,” she added. But it was a very big deal. Never before had someone with such a young fan base identified publicly as LGBTQ.
“I’ve known since I was little,” Siwa says. (“I did too,” her mom Jessalynn adds. “A mother knows.”) They both also knew it was a risk to tell the world. “I have a lot that could have gone away because of my love life,” Siwa explained.
“I never should have done that,” the star said of Googling herself after coming out. “I was thinking that all the comments were going to be nice and supportive, and they weren’t. A lot of them were, ‘I’m never buying your merch again. My daughter’s never watching you again.’ I couldn’t sleep for three days.”
“My thing is, I don’t want people to watch my videos or buy my merchandise if they aren’t going to support not only me, but the LGBTQ community,” Siwa clarified.
Despite having her detractors online, many big-name celebrities came out in support of Siwa following the announcement. Elton John, Meghan Trainor, Kerry Washington, and many more publicly applauded her at the time.
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“I’ve never gotten this much support from the world,” she proudly said. “I think this is the first time that I’ve felt so personally happy.”
“Performing has always made me super happy,” she said in conclusion. “But for the first time, personally, I am like, whoa, happiness. I am so proud to be me.”
You go, girl!
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