Jojo Siwa is reflecting on coming out and revealed that she identifies as pansexual after she said she was part of the LGBTQ+ community in January.
The former Dance Moms star began to drop hints about her sexuality at the start of the year when she lip-synched to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" on TikTok and then donned a t-shirt that read "Best Gay Cousin Ever." Since then, the 17-year-old has been loved up with girlfriend Kylie Prew.
"She never cares what the internet said about us," Siwa told PEOPLE. "It's nice to have somebody in my life like that," she gushed about the 18-year-old. The couple began as friends after they met on a cruise ship, and then things turned romantic in late 2020.
"I still don't know what I am. It's like, I want to figure it out. And I have this joke. Her name is Kylie. And so I say that I'm Ky-sexual," Siwa joked. "But like, I don't know, bisexual, pansexual, queer, lesbian, gay, straight. I always just say gay because it just kind of covers it or queer because I think the keyword is cool."
"I like queer," she added. "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."
"I never wanted [my coming out] to be a big deal," she said, as not everyone took the news well. "I never should have done that," she shared after she read some of the negative comments about her coming out at the time.
"I was thinking that all the comments were going to be nice and supportive, and they weren't. A lot of them were, 'I'm never buying your merch again. My daughter's never watching you again.' I couldn't sleep for three days."
However, Siwa has known she was part of the LGBTQ+ community "since I was little," and her mom, Jessalynn, said she knew too because "a mother knows."
"I have a lot that could have gone away because of my love life," Siwa noted. "My thing is, I don't want people to watch my videos or buy my merchandise if they aren't going to support not only me, but the LGBTQ community."
However, it wasn’t all negativity with A-listers such as Elton John, Lil Nas X, Ellen DeGeneres and Meghan Trainor congratulating the teen for being open. "I've never gotten this much support from the world," she gushed. "I think this is the first time that I've felt so personally happy."
"Performing has always made me super happy," she added. "But for the first time, personally, I am like, whoa, happiness. I am so proud to be me."