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Jojo Siwa clarifies her comments about the word ‘lesbian’ after backlash

She was criticised for saying “I don’t like the word” to identify her sexuality.

2022-08-02

Words: Emily Maskell; picture: Wiki Commons

Jojo Siwa has posted a TikTok clarifying her thoughts on the label 'lesbian' after facing criticism for saying she does not like the word.

The YouTube star and Dance Moms alum, 19, has been accused of labelling the term a 'dirty word' after a recent interview. 

"I don’t like the word itself. It’s just like lesbian, it’s just like a lot," she told Yahoo Life. "But at the end of the day, that’s what I am."

She then went on to compare the term lesbian to the word 'moist' saying: "It’s like… guhhh!"

On social media, people blasted the teenager for her comments including one person who described Siwa's "internalised lesbophobia" and said the Dance Moms star had indicated that an "already stigmatized word is gross." 

While others criticised Siwa for making Lesbian seem a "dirty word" others defended the star. One person wrote: "Lesbian is not an ugly or bad word but it takes a lot of people time to grow into that. Being a celebrity she could’ve chosen to just say she prefers being called gay but like. She just came out and is barely 19."

Over the weekend, Siwa posted a TikTok to clear up confusion.

@itsjojosiwa Replying to @🌈Liz🌈 ♬ Born This Way - Lady Gaga

"I never said that lesbian was a dirty word and I never, ever would say that it’s a dirty word because it is not," Siwa said in a TikTok posted on Friday (29 July), replying to a comment.

"It is not a bad word, it is not a slur, and it is especially not a word that I am ashamed of saying or ashamed of identifying as by any means," she said.

She explained it is not the word she dislikes, but by the sound of it, it’s not her go-to identifier to label her sexuality.

"I don't hate the word lesbian, I just – whenever somebody talks to me about my sexuality I just say that I’m gay," she added. "It’s not the word that flows off the tongue for me if that makes sense."

Her TikTok was captioned: "My sexuality nor ANYONES is a dirty word"

Siwa came out in 2021 as pansexual over a series of posts on social media.

"I like queer," she told People. "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."

The Attitude September/October issue is available to download and order in print now and will be on newsstands from Thursday 4 August.