A year after coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community, JoJo Siwa is still feeling the love.
The 18-year-old singer, actor and YouTube superstar commemorated her 1-year anniversary of living as her true self ― and shared a few thoughts on her personal evolution since then ― in an emotional Instagram post over the weekend.
“In the last 365 days I’ve felt more love than ever,” she wrote, alongside a series of photos that included her recent People cover story. “I get asked a lot ‘was coming out scary for you’… and the answer is yes of course, anything that’s different about you is scary, however… it’s what makes me… me.”
Siwa, originally from Nebraska, has cultivated a massive following of millions of young fans via YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. In 2020, Time magazine included her on its list of 100 most influential people in the world.
She first addressed her sexuality on Instagram Live in January of last year, noting at the time that she was “really happy” to be a part of the LGBTQ community but did not align herself with a traditional label.
In September, she told The New York Times that she identifies herself as “queer, because it covers it, and it’s cute.”
Elsewhere in her post, Siwa touched on the significance of being an LGBTQ public figure who has become a personal hero to many young fans.
“Truthfully I feel like I was put on this earth to be a role model for kids,” she wrote, “and letting all the kids of the world know that loving everyone for who they are no matter what is something that I will always believe in and always share.”
“Please never forget that no matter who you are, what you look like, who you LOVE that you are absolutely perfect,” she added.
Siwa reached a new level of fame last fall when she became one-half of the first same-sex couple to compete on “Dancing With the Stars.” Though she and dancer Jenna Johnson received praise for their creative routines, they lost to NBA player Iman Shumpert and his partner Daniella Karagach.