Actress and performer Jojo Siwa officially came out publicly on Jan. 22 on Twitter. The former Dance Moms star posted a tweet that read, “my cousin got me a new shirt,” accompanied by a photo of her wearing a t-shirt that said “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.”

Siwa talked about the process of her decision to publicly share her identity on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. She told Jimmy Fallon that she was working on a collaboration with a group of LGBTQ+ Tik Tok creators who call themselves Pride House, and questioned if the video would out her.

“I was like, ‘I don’t really mind, it is true,'” she said. “I do have the most amazing, wonderful, perfect, most beautiful girlfriend in the whole world. It’s not something I’m ashamed of, I just haven’t shown the internet yet.'”

After the Tik Toks were posted, she said she received a lot of comments asking if that was her coming out. Siwa said she decided to tease her followers a bit more before confirming it. She posted a Tik Tok to her own account of her lip synching to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which also received a lot of attention and speculation.

After posting that Tik Tok, it wasn’t until she was talking on the phone with her girlfriend that she thought to officially confirm her sexuality. She said she wanted to post the photo of her wearing the shirt, which she had previously posted on a private story for close friends and family. Siwa said her girlfriend, who she has not identified, encouraged her to post the photo.

Fallon asked Siwa what the feedback has been like so far. “It was the most love I think I’ve ever received and the coolest thing about it was it was just by me showing the world the last little piece of me that they haven’t seen yet,” she said.

Siwa noted she didn’t want to make a big deal out of coming out, saying “even if there’s a million people, say there’s a million people, that’s a lot of people, that don’t accept it, there’s 100 million that do.”

She said she did not realize until after the fact that coming out was a huge risk for her brand.

“But if I lost everything that I’ve created because of being myself and because of loving who I want to love, I don’t want it,” she said.

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