Why JoJo Siwa Coming Out is Important.

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Madeline Frambes, Media Editor, Staff Writer

On January 22, 2021 JoJo Siwa posted on Twitter: “My cousin got me a new shirt.” The tweet accompanied a photo of her posing in a shirt which states: “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” The tweet publicly confirmed suspicions about her identity, and many LGBT+ icons shared their support for the young musician such, as famous Drag Queen Trixie Matte, who tweeted, “Jojo Siwa is gay and it makes sense with my fantasy.”

Fans started speculating after Siwa appeared in a Pride House LA TikTok Video on January 20th, with the caption “Now you’re one of us!!” and a post to her own TikTok of her lip syncing to Lady Gaga’s pride anthem “Born This Way.” After confirming on Twitter on January 22nd, she hosted an Instagram Live the next day, answering questions and stating that she has “never, ever, ever been this happy before,” showing that coming out can be a positive experience full of acceptance and love.

Although most of the reactions were supportive, the Siwa family got quite a shock when their home was “swatted.” Swatting is when a false emergency call is placed under another person’s address in hopes of getting a large amount of police at a person’s home. Siwa explained during a livestream hosted on Nate Javier, her videographer’s, account that “We went outside hands up, and then the police were saying that somebody had called and made a claim and then all of a sudden paparazzi came from around the corner.” No one was harmed, but Siwa explained in a statement that she was upset that a large amount of police were possibly being pulled away from people who actually needed them.

The harassment of this teen star shows the lengths homophobic and transphobic people go to make other people’s lives worse, one of the main reasons Siwa’s coming out is so important.  Because her target audience is children, many LGBT+ kids now have someone to look up to and see someone who is like them and successful.

Siwa made such statements during her Instagram live such as, “Right now, what matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love, that it’s OK, that it’s awesome and that the world is there for you,” to young people gives a strong message of hope to those who may be in not a safe place to come out.

According to the Trevor Project, a national emergency hotline for LGBT+ youth, many of LGBT+ young people are not in a safe place to come out. “As a result of family rejection, discrimination, criminalization and a host of other factors, LGBTQ youth represent as much as 40% of the homeless youth population. Of that population, studies indicate that as many as 60% are likely to attempt suicide.”

Siwa’s example shows that love and support is possible for these young people. “For the last 48 hours, I have gotten the most endless amount of love and support,” Siwa said in her Instagram live that “you will find your people and there is nothing wrong with you.” This is extremely impactful to children, especially coming from someone like Siwa who has such a large platform. The teen star says she is “the happiest that I’ve ever been. And that’s what matters.”