One year ago, JoJo Siwa shared her truth with the world as she came out as a member of the LGBTQ community. Now, the 18-year-old entertainer is celebrating the anniversary of that personal milestone and what it’s meant to her and her young fans.
Siwa shared her sentiments — along with a carousel of related photos — on Instagram over the weekend.
“🏳️🌈In the last 365 days I’ve felt more love than ever,” she wrote alongside the pics, which began with an image of her from January 2021. In the shot, she wore a shirt that read, “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” “A year ago today I posted this picture and shared with the world that I was gay🌈 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.”
And because of that, the “Dance Moms” alum and YouTube star explained that, ultimately, she “had no fear with sharing it with the world❤️”
But that’s not the only question she faced after coming out.
“I also get asked a lot ‘your demographic is so young are you worried about telling kids your gay,’” she continued. “Truthfully I feel like I was put on this earth to be a role model for kids, 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❤️”
Last February, that meant sharing the news that she was dating her best friend-turned-girlfriend, Kylie Prew. And while she and Prew split up late last year, Siwa was open about that, too, explaining to her fans that it was simply a case of the “right person, wrong time.”
The breakup happened around the time of Siwa’s stint on season 30 of “Dancing With the Stars.” She ended the season as the runner-up on the ballroom bash, but she was also a big winner as one-half of the first same-sex pair to compete on the show.
In an interview last summer, Siwa explained that she’d long expected she would come out one day.
“I knew since I was little that I was never straight, I knew that,” she told Entertainment Weekly. “But I also was never like, ‘Oh, I’m gay.’ And I told myself for a long time … ‘If I have someone to come out with, then I will come out.’”
Now, it appears that she couldn’t be happier about the fact that she did.
“Please never forget that no matter who you are, what you look like, who you LOVE that you are absolutely perfect,” she wrote as she ended her recent Instagram post. “Thank you for showing me the most love throughout this year and throughout my entire life. I love you all❤️🙏🏼🏳️🌈”
This story originally appeared on TODAY.com