It’s been quite a week for teen sensation JoJo Siwa.
After making several social media posts that caused internet speculation, the Dance Moms alum and YouTube star came out this past weekend. Siwa, 17, confirmed the news by showing off a gift from her cousin. It was a shirt that read “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.”
Not everyone was happy for her. One commenter, and at least 5,000 encouraging users, made it clear under an Instagram post of hers.
“My daughter will never watch you again,” user @_keemaria wrote. There were several replies to the comment, but Siwa’s remark back to the user was simple.
Luckily, many of the other comments were more encouraging. Instagram itself commented, “all the love! …thank you, JoJo, for sharing your story with us.”
“sooooo happy to see you happy!!!!” wrote actress Jamie Lynn Spears.
“You GO, JoJo, you’ve got our love,” YouTuber Liza Koshy said.
“Girl!!!!!!!! You know I adore you,” said actress Kerry Washington, adding “your commitment to being authentically unapologetically and beautifully YOU is a gift to the world!”
“love this and you so much!” said out YouTuber GiGi Gorgeous, whose own spouse came out as trans recently as well.
“She changed history today for the future of LGBTQ youth,” out online personality Tana Mongeau said on Instagram. The 17-year-old got congratulations from Ellen DeGeneres, Kim Kardashian West, Lil Nas X, and other stars.
“The only reason I’m not saying what I am is because I don’t know what I am but I know that I’m really happy and that’s all that matters,” she said in a video reacting to the aftermath of her coming out.
Despite the overwhelming support Siwa is getting publicly, comments such as that one serve as a reminder that homophobia still exists. Even popular, cheerful celebrities such as Siwa face hatred by coming out and put their livelihoods and lives at risk.
There was yet another terrifying reminder: less than a day after posting the video, police were called to Siwa’s residence in Los Angeles, forcing the star and her family to leave their home, while the officers investigated a emergency call.
Siwa stated her belief that this was an incident of swatting, when someone calls the police and claims that a crime is being committed at someone else’s home with the intent of getting armed officers to show up, harass someone, and generally wreak havoc.
In a subsequent video, she suggested that a member of the awaiting paparazzi was behind the swatting. Thankfully, no one was injured at Siwa’s home.
“I think because I recently came out to the internet, the media is obviously very excited, which I love, and I love the support,” Siwa said. “However, you could’ve just hung outside my house and I would’ve eventually come outside my house.”