Last week, 17-year-old singer and entertainer JoJo Siwa came out as gay.
This is huge for her countless fans, many of whom are children. And this is a huge personal milestone for JoJo.
Sadly, some monstrous homophobes were not in a congratulatory mood.
But JoJo had a very diplomatic way of shutting down the bigoted clowns who came for her.
"My daughter will never watch you again!" an irate bigot screeched at JoJo Siwa on Instagram.
There are a thousand ways to respond to that kind of message, but JoJo did not fall into any of those traps.
She simply replied with a short and simple: "Okay!" Savage.
JoJo could have expressed hurt, or tried to engage the obvious homophobic troll.
She could have said that she was sorry for the homophobe’s child — no child deserves to grow up in a toxic household.
But this short, sweet shutdown left nothing more to be said and avoids getting drawn into a squabble that will go nowhere with a person who wishes that you didn’t exist.
As we said, JoJo Siwa coming out at this point in her career, when she has been performing to sold out arenas, is so good for so many people.
It’s good for LGBTQ+ kids who are her fans, whether they identify as such or not.
It’s good for her fans who are cisgender and heterosexual, whose point of reference for gay people will be one of their favorite entertainers.
For all of those reasons and more, homophobes dread celebrities coming out.
They don’t want any child to feel that they can be accepted if they are open about who they are.
Tragically, this goes double for their own children. There are parents in this world who would wish their child a lifetime if shame and misery instead of authenticity.
Unfortunately, it appears that not all of the bigots unhappy with JoJo were willing to keep their contempt limited to social media.
Someone called police to her house over a fake emergency, a practice known as "SWATTING" that can get people killed.
JoJo is okay, but the timing of this — shortly after her coming out livestream — is impossible to ignore.
For the most part, however, JoJo’s coming out was extremely well received, by her fans and by newcomers.
In fact, she had been dropping hints about it for a couple of days before she came out directly.
(I couldn’t resist making a meme of it at the time, as you can see)
JoJo has shared that though she is happy to be in the LGBTQ+ community, she has not yet picked a label for herself — because she just doesn’t know.
(Remember, "gay" can be an umbrella term for the community, an alternative to the acronym and easier for cishet people to repeat than the widely preferred "queer" label)
That is very smart of her. Some people know their labels at 14, others at 41. Labels can also change, but there’s never a need to rush to get one.
JoJo is a bright, beautiful (when she’s not in her performance persona) young woman.
She is a wealthy professional with a bright future ahead of her.
We are so happy for her and so glad that, if she must encounter homophobia, she knows how to silence her hateful trolls.