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"Performing has always made me super happy. But for the first time, personally, I am like, whoa, happiness. I am so proud to be me," JoJo Siwa revealed in her exclusive April cover story for People magazine, released April 7th.
The YouTube personality has forged her own enterprise centered on one thing and one thing only: being herself. From her dance moves to her quirky rhinestone wardrobe (yeah, we're talking about those fun, ginormous bows), Siwa is unapologetically herself, which we love to see, especially since her biggest audience is little kids. At the beginning of 2021, the Nickelodeon sensation led an honest conversation with her followers and the world via social media and came out as LGTBQ+.
"I never wanted [my coming out] to be a big deal," she explained, but because of her fanbase and role model persona, it was. "I have a lot that could have gone away because of my love life," she added.
Reading in between the lines, it's clear Siwa had a lot at stake by choosing to be her authentic self. However, if we have learned anything, it's that none of those things matter as long as you're happy with who you are on the inside. That's what counts.
Now, with all her cards laid out on the table for everyone to see, Siwa says she's never been happier, and a large part of that happiness has to do with her girlfriend, Kylie Prew
Reminiscing, Siwa says she remembers the exact moment she knew there was something special about Prew. "I told her my whole spiel that I tell everyone when they ask me my life story. 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,'" Siwa continued, adding, "And I was like, 'No one's ever asked me that before.'"
The singer and actress explained she was hesitant to put a "label" on her sexuality and while she likes the term "queer," she's "technically pansexual."
"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," she told the magazine. "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."
While Siwa was praised by fellow celebrities for sharing her truth, she also received a lot of pushback from fans, particularly from parents.
"A lot of [the hateful comments] were, 'I'm never buying your merch again. My daughter's never watching you again.' I couldn't sleep for three days," she detailed. After scrolling through the comments, Siwa remembers temporarily regretting her decision to come out.
As more time passed, Siwa was able to take a step back and reevaluate the kind of fans her brand was attracting and realized, there's nothing wrong in being yourself. "My thing is, I don't want people to watch my videos or buy my merchandise if they aren't going to support not only me, but the LGBTQ community."
It's been a few months since her big announcement. Siwa and her girlfriend are still going strong, she's received love and support from all over the world, and it's the first time she's ever "felt so personally happy." And we couldn't be happier *for* her.