JoJo Siwa knew she was queer “since she was little” and “couldn’t sleep for three days” after reading hateful comments about her coming out.
Siwa, who with her infinite collection of hair bows and pulled-back ponytail is one of YouTube’s brightest – and youngest – stars, opened up to People as she graces the magazine’s cover.
When the 17-year-old came out earlier this year, she said she wasn’t quite ready to label herself. This not-knowing, Siwa says months on, is exciting to her.
“I still don’t know what I am,” she explained. “It’s like, I want to figure it out.
“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. 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.”
Above all, Siwa said she is happy now in a way she never has been before.
“For the first time, personally, I am like, whoa, happiness,” she said. “I am so proud to be me.”
JoJo Siwa ‘never wanted her coming out to be a big deal’
The self-described “happiest human alive” explained how as much as her life is constantly glowing out of people’s mobile phones and laptop screens, she “never wanted [her coming out] to be a big deal”.
It was. Not only did the YouTube sensation’s 12.2 million subscribers shower her with praise, but even stars such as Ian McKellen commended her for coming out.
“I’ve never gotten this much support from the world,” JoJo Siwa reflected. “I think this is the first time that I’ve felt so personally happy.”
After coming out, though, one of the first things she did was Google herself and rifle through the inevitable raft of comments.
“I never should have done that,” Siwa said. “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.”
“I’ve known since I was little,” Siwa recalled.
She wasn’t the only one who knew. “I did, too,” her mother, dance teacher Jessalynn Siwa, added. “A mother knows.”
“I have a lot that could have gone away because of my love life,” Siwa continued.
Siwa certainly knows about love. The Masked Singer star told People that meeting and falling for her girlfriend Kylie Prew, 18, has changed her.
The pair met on a cruise ship and it was smooth sailing from there. “I told her my whole spiel that I tell everyone when they ask me my life story,” Siwa said.
“She goes, ‘I could have Googled that. I want to know your life story. You just told me about your career. I want to know about you’.
“And I was like, No one’s ever asked me that before.”
“[Prew] never cares what the internet said about us,” Siwa said. “It’s nice to have somebody in my life like that.”
While JoJo Siwa is still figuring herself out, she knows one thing. “I have this joke – her name is Kylie, so I say that I’m Ky-sexual.”