JoJo Siwa is coming under fire after being declared a “gay icon” by fans.
While addressing what an honor it is to be given such a title, the Dance Moms alum, 19, discussed different connotations that she believes come with how one identifies themself.
Siwa explained in a recent interview that she loves dressing in colorful clothes and her signature bows, adding that “you can be queer and be girly.” She controversially added, “I think that’s a thing, is a lot of times lesbians are taken to be masculine. ‘If you’re a lesbian, do you wanna be a boy?’ That’s not the case. There are plenty of very feminine lesbians.”
Despite her title as a “gay icon,” Siwa — who came out as gay in 2021 — admitted she hates the word lesbian, preferring to describe herself as gay.
“I don’t like the word itself,” she joked of the word. “It’s just like a lot. But I mean, at the end of the day, that’s what I am. … It’s like the word moist. It’s just like … ugh!”
Nevertheless, Siwa gushed it was a privilege to be “the face of the LGBTQ young demographic,” emphasizing, “It’s something that I’ve been appointed by, not myself, by just the world calling me a gay icon, calling me this generation’s icon. That is an honor that I do not take lightly.”
Following her interview, social media users flocked to Twitter, calling out the young star for seemingly adding to the stigma surrounding the word.
“um in light of a recent jojo siwa interview, here’s a quick reminder that lesbian isn’t a bad or dirty word,” pointed out one online user.
“im so tired of influential wlw calling the word lesbian ‘dirty’. girl in red said lesbian is her ‘least favorite word’ and now all this with jojo siwa? this is actually so harmful and im so sick of it,” added another upset user referencing artist girl in red’s 2020 interview with South China Morning Post, in which she discussed how pop culture lacks LGBT representation.
“first girl in red now jojo siwa i swear no straight person is going to give u a cookie bc u said u hate the word lesbian lmaooo,” a third quipped, followed by a fourth who chimed in, “if jojo siwa doesn’t like the word lesbian she fully could have said she’d rather be referred to as queer, but to say she is basically disgusted by the word is a different kind of problem.”
OK! reported Siwa announced in January 2021 that she was part of the LGBTQ+ community, clarifying in April of that year that she identifies as pansexual. “I always just say gay because it just kind of covers it or queer because I think the keyword is cool,” she said in an interview at the time. “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.”
Siwa is currently dating on-and-off girlfriend Kylie Prew, confirming the two were back together in May, only six months after first calling it quits.