JoJo Siwa clarified her thoughts on the word “lesbian” after catching some heat for not using the term to identify her sexuality.
“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, 19, said in a video posted to TikTok on Friday. “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 continued, “Whenever someone talks to me about my sexuality, I just say that I’m gay.”
Siwa further expressed that she just personally does not like “the sound” of the word, telling fans, “I don’t hate the word lesbian … it’s not the word that flows off the tongue for me, if that makes sense.”
The “Dance Moms” alum — who came out as gay in January 2021 — made the clarification after she received backlash for saying she didn’t like using the word “lesbian” last week.
“I don’t like the word itself,” the singer told Yahoo! Life at the time, adding, “It’s just, like ‘lesbian,’ it’s just like a lot.”
She added, “At the end of the day, that’s what I am,” and compared the term to the word “moist.”
Siwa said society often incorrectly assumes that lesbians are masculine.
“You can be queer and be girly. I think that’s a thing, is a lot of times ‘lesbians’ are taken to be masculine,” she said in the controversial interview. “If you’re a lesbian, you’re supposed to be, do you want to be a boy? That’s not the case. There are plenty of very feminine lesbians.”
Siwa was dragged by various users on Twitter, who wrote things like, “Lesbian is not a dirty word and the stigma needs to be unlearned BADLY,” and “in light of a recent jojo siwa interview, here’s a quick reminder that lesbian isn’t a bad or dirty word.”
A third person argued that Siwa should “100% be held accountable for the rhetoric she spreads,” adding, “I do hope she learns to accept herself and her identity, but that’s as far as my compassion goes. her words were extremely harmful and she should know better.”
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