JoJo Siwa is clarifying some comments she made in a recent interview that raised some hackles in the LGBTQ+ community.
Siwa, who came out as gay last year, recently spoke with Yahoo! Life about her new role as “gay icon.”
Despite openly being a lesbian, Siwa explained why she prefers not to use that particular nomenclature.
“I don’t like the word itself,” she said. “It’s just like a lot. But I mean, at the end of the day, that’s what I am.”
Siwa added, “It’s like the word moist. It’s just like… ugh!”
Siwa’s comments were hit with backlash on social media, with numerous Twitter users admonishing her for drawing a negative connotation to the word “lesbian.”
um in light of a recent jojo siwa interview, here’s a quick reminder that lesbian isn’t a bad or dirty word
— Rio (@riomat7) July 25, 2022
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
— ali ♡ (@robinbuckleyzgf) July 25, 2022
jojo siwa comparing the word lesbian to the word moist.. lesbian is not a dirty word how many times do we have to say this
— xio! (@ihrtkjs) July 26, 2022
not jojo siwa calling the word lesbian gross when she has a fandom full of children who will preach every word she says. even if it’s a personal issue don’t go and make it anyone else’s by being mean and hurting lesbians. should’ve just kept quiet fr
— dylan / kit (@nickdarcys) July 25, 2022
Siwa caught wind of the controversy and responded in a video she shared on TikTok, insisting that she “never said that lesbian is a dirty word” in her interview.
“I never would say that it’s a dirty word because it is not. It’s not a bad word, it’s not a slur, it’s especially not a word that I am ashamed of saying or ashamed of identifying as by any means,” she explained, insisting her dislike of the word is entirely based on its sound.
“I don’t hate the word lesbian, whenever someone talks to me about my sexuality I just say that I’m gay,” Siwa added. “It’s not a word that flows off the tongue for me, if that makes sense?”
Replying to @🌈Liz🌈 my sexuality nor ANYONES is a dirty word ❤️🏳️🌈