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Why Jojo Siwa’s Coming Out is so Important and Other influential LGBTQ+ Celebs

In January, Jojo Siwa posted a TikTok lip syncing to the Lady Gaga hit “Born This Way.” What could be seen as an innocent video has started a much bigger conversation. 

Twitter questioned if the former “Dance Moms” star was coming out as part of the LGBTQ+ community. The internet’s suspicions were later confirmed when Siwa tweeted a picture wearing a shirt that read “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” Since then, Jojo has appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show gushing about her girlfriend Kylie. 

In this day in age, it might not strike people as a “big deal.” Take a look at who her audience are, and you can see why it’s important.

Siwa boasts a following of over 54 million fans across TikTok, YouTube and Instagram most of whom are children and preteens. Being a child entertainer who openly identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community is practically unheard of. Having someone some you can identify with, who has such a large following of supporters will be a new source of comfort for young people questioning their sexuality.

Possibly the most important part of all this is that Siwa has not rushed into labelling her identity. “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 in response to a fan. Siwa’s words serve a reminder that no one should ever feel pressure to assign a label to their sexuality before they are ready.

She isn’t the only person challenging things, here are 5 other influential LGBTQ+ celebrities to follow:

Elliot Page:

Page shot to fame after starring in the 2007 film Juno. Since then, the actor’s career has been on the up and up. Recently they starred in the Netflix hit Umbrella Academy as Vanya Hargreeves. Back in December, Page came out on Instagram as transgender and that their pronouns are, he/they. Nothing can stop his success as filming of the third season of Umbrella Academy has started.

Sam Smith:

The chart-topping singer had previously come out as gay prior to the release of their debut album. In 2019, Smith announced that they were non-binary and stated that they used they/them promouns, saying, “after a lifetime of being at war with my gender I’ve decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out.”

Lil Nas X:

Lil Nas X came out as gay in the most casual way possible. On the last day of pride month, he tweeted “some of y’all already know, some of y’all don’t care, some of y’all not gone fwm no more. But before this month ends I want y’all to listen closely to c7osure.” Fans had already assumed the song was his way of publicly coming out. 

It wasn’t all plain sailing as he had to handle homophobic backlash afterwards but with two Grammys under his belt, he can rest assured knowing he has the last laugh. 

Janelle Monáe:

You might recognise Janelle for her 2018 album “Dirty Computer” or that look from the 2019 Met Gala but what you may not know is that she identifies as pansexual. The singer came out in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine back in 2018.  

“Being a queer black woman in America,” she said, “someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free–ss motherf-cker.”

Hayley Kiyoko:

Dubbed “Lesbian Jesus” by her fans Kiyoko was first brought to the public’s attention when she starred in the Disney Channel movie Lemonade Mouth in 2010. It wasn’t until she released her single “Girls Like Girls” in 2015 that she found real fame for her music. Since this breakthrough, Kiyoko has used her success to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ iss

Second year journalism student in DCU.
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