In January 2021, JoJo Siwa convinced the internet that she may have come out of the proverbial closet. After posting a TikTok of her lip-synching Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," and appearing in @kentboyd_'s TikTok which shows teens dancing to "One Of Us," fans took it as a sign of JoJo coming out and announcing she's queer.
She has also posted a photo of herself wearing a shirt seemingly announcing she's gay — and she's since confirmed her LGBTQ status.
Fans initially questioned JoJo's sexuality after she posted a "Wipe It Down" challenge video.
This isn't the first time the internet has wondered if JoJo may be queer. Back in May 2020, JoJo posted a TikTok "Wipe It Down" challenge video that showed her transforming from her regular rainbow outfitted and ponytailed self to a girl wearing a Gucci shirt and loose hair. People immediately assumed this meant she came out.
JoJo continued, "There are so many people that are there for you. I know everyone's situation is different and it might be harder for some people and easier for some people to come out or be themselves but I think coming out has this stigma around it — that it's this really, really scary thing, but it's not anymore. There are so many accepting and loving people out there that it's okay."
Commenters asked her what this meant and if she listened to girl in red (this is essentially TikTok code for queerness, and references queer Norwegian singer girl in red). Steph Frosch tweeted, "Free Jojo Siwa from her contract so that she can blossom into the TikTok lesbian that she was born to be."
JoJo Siwa's TikTok prompted another discussion about her sexuality in January 2021.
Prior to January 2021, JoJo Siwa had rarely openly discussed her sexuality. Back in August 2020, it was reported that JoJo and musician Mark Bontempo were officially dating, but they broke up in November.
JoJo Siwa's sexuality was trending again in early 2021, and people were curious to know what JoJo's videos mean. It would be a pretty big deal that such a well-known teen star has come out – it sets a great example for other young adults who might feel scared to express themselves.
Journalist Yashar Ali tweeted, "This feels like a big deal if it is what I think it is...JoJo Siwa is hugely popular with kids. And as someone just pointed out, if it is what I think it is, she's doing it at the height of her fame when she's selling out arenas."
However, one person rightfully tweeted, "the entire tl is just ‘JOJO SIWA CAME OUT???’ just a reminder to not label her unless she does herself :)"
Another wrote, "OK ik there’s a lot of speculation going around rn about jojo siwa possibly coming out bc of this vid and the one w the teen beach movie cast which is very exciting but just a reminder not to label her as anything until she confirms her sexuality :)"
JoJo Siwa confirmed she's part of the LGBTQ+ community in late January 2021.
Following the speculation about JoJo's sexuality, the influencer posted a photo on Twitter on Jan. 22 confirming she is, in fact, part of the LGBTQ+ community.
"My cousin got me a new shirt," she captioned the tweet, sharing a photo of a shirt that read: "BEST. GAY. COUSIN. EVER."
The replies to the tweet are filled with an outpouring of support for JoJo, applauding her courage for coming out.
JoJo thanked fans for supporting her after coming out about her sexuality.
"Personally I have never, ever, ever been this happy before and it feels really awesome. I've been happy for a little bit now. It's just so, so, so awesome," JoJo said in an Instagram Live — which she later shared as a regular post — on Jan. 23. "You guys probably haven't seen me this happy since I was on tour."
Although she confirmed that she's part of the LGBTQ+ community, JoJo didn't publicly assign a label to herself at the time.
"I have thought about this, but the reason I'm not going to say this answer is because I don't really know this answer," she said. "... Right now, I'm super duper happy and I want to share everything with the world but I also want to keep things in my life private until they are ready to be public. Right now what matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love, that it's okay. It's awesome and the world is there for you."
JoJo also revealed that her mom and dad have both been incredibly supportive — and that her sexuality isn't exactly news to them.
"My parents have known. My mom said she's known for the last two years. She's like, 'I just know with you!'" she explained. "Around two years ago, she was like, 'I don't think you only like boys, that's totally okay.' They've always been so everything ... My family is awesome."
She added, "Of course people are going to say it's not normal, but nothing is normal. Literally not one thing about anybody is normal and it's okay not to be normal, it's okay to be a little different, it's okay to be a little weird, strange, different. That's something we should never, ever be afraid of. That's something we should be proud of. ... I'm the happiest I've ever been, that's what matters."
In April 2021, JoJo Siwa shared the labels she prefers — including pansexual.
During an interview with People magazine, JoJo spoke about the different types of labels she feels comfortable using.
"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," she told the publication. "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."
JoJo added: "I like queer. 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."
Kudos to JoJo Siwa for coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Even if she doesn't want to exclusively use one label to describe her sexuality — gay, queer, pansexual, etc. — her bravery has meant so much to young people and adults alike.