Jojo Siwa is gay and everyone, even those of us who don’t know much about her, should be super excited.
Let’s be real here. I’m 34 years old. I was a junior in High School when Jojo Siwa was born and well into my 20’s when she first started gaining fame from her appearances on various cable reality TV shows. Even when my age aligned with her target demographic (many years prior to her birth), I was going through a gothy pre-teen phase where I was much more interested in reading horror-themed books than consuming the electric-pop music she produces. But my separation from her targeted demographic is why I’m so excited about her coming out, and everyone else should be, too.
You see, members of the LGBTQ+ community are everywhere. We’re here in geek circles (hello, Geekiary readers!) and we’re over there in pre-teen electric-pop fandoms. We’re wealthy, middle class, and poor. We’re the cool kids, the geeks, the jocks, the goths. We’re young and old and middle-aged. Being queer is not bound by only one specific “type” and it’s important to see that represented.
The way Jojo Siwa came out is also incredibly important. It first came to the larger internet’s attention when she posted a video of herself singing to Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ track, which has become an LGBTQ+ anthem for many. While singing she was decked out in rainbow accessories, but there was still some level of deniability since rainbows are just part of her aesthetic. But then the next day she posted a picture of herself wearing a “Best Gay Cousin” shirt, then proceeded to retweet people congratulating her for coming out. There was no denying it then.
This was well planned. It wasn’t a spur of the moment or forced by a third party, like so many other coming-out stories tend to be. She was in control of her story, came out on her own terms, and did it all with a smile. It made being true to oneself a positive choice to make and not a tragic event thrust upon someone. Seeing someone do this so joyfully is incredibly refreshing to an older (comparatively) queer woman like myself, and a fantastic first coming-out example for a younger generation who had never encountered it before.
There’s no doubt she’s going to face backlash for this from unsuspecting conservative parents who may not want their kids to be a fan of an openly out and proud gay woman. But right now the internet is flooded with support and thankfully that’s the loudest response to this. Kids deserve to see this support, and for those who face a struggle at home over the situation, I hope they take the positive responses to heart and keep that with them as they go through their own journey.
Bigotry still exists, even if the world is a lot more accepting now, but the loud supportive voices are drowning them out for the time being. Young kids are seeing that, even if their immediate family may not be as supportive.
I’ve never watched a single Jojo Siwa video or show, nor listened to a single one of her songs, but that doesn’t matter. I welcome her with open arms to the LGBTQ+ community and am incredibly thankful for the example she’s set for her young fans.
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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