It’s been almost three years since JoJo Siwa came out as a member of the LGBTQ community — and now, she’s ready to speak candidly about the blowback she received as a result.
In the debut episode of the reality star’s new iHeartMedia-produced podcast JoJo Siwa Now, Siwa talks at length about her coming out story, reflecting on how she decided to tell her fans that she identified as queer. “I was on the phone with my girlfriend at the time, and I said ‘I think I wanna come out to the world,’” she recalled. “I posted this picture and threw it on my Instagram Story, and that’s how I confirmed it … I didn’t think twice about it.”
The reaction, she said, were largely positive — but there were still plenty of people who were not happy that Siwa was sharing her truth publicly. “There was also a lot of negativity, and I did lose a lot,” she said. “I didn’t care, and I still don’t care about the things I lost and the people that I lost and if I lost a chunk of fans, because it’s who I am.”
Further explaining her point, Siwa, 20, explained that she had built her career off of “being genuine,” and if members of her audience couldn’t deal with her sexuality, then they were welcome to leave. “If you didn’t like me because [one day] I was straight, and [the next day] I was gay, then you’re not meant to like me anyways,” she said. “I just try to really be genuine, really be who I am.”
This is not the first time Siwa has talked about backlash to her coming out — during an interview on The Viall Files back in July, the Dance Moms star said that a number of corporations decided to “blackball” her from working with them because of her sexuality. “I had a lot of people of corporations [who] told me that I made the wrong choice and that I shouldn’t have come out,” she said at the time. “[They said] that I shouldn’t tell my young demographic that I’m gay.”
Siwa is currently starring as a contestant on the second season of Fox reality series Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test, in which a group of celebrities are subjected to military bootcamp-style challenges, until they decide to leave the competition.
Check out the full first episode of JoJo Siwa Now below:
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