In January 2021, JoJo Siwa came out by tweeting a picture of herself wearing a T-shirt gifted by her family member that read, “Best gay cousin ever.” Fans applauded her for coming out, and one wrote, “So proud of you JoJo!” Since then, Siwa has been out and proud, often wearing rainbow attire and kissing a woman in her “Karma” music video. Praise quickly turned to outrage when the “Dancing with the Stars” alum stated in a Billboard interview that she wanted to start a new genre of music called “gay pop.” Siwa referenced artists like Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus while putting “Karma” into the same category. “Imagine wanting to start a new genre that already exists,” a fan commented. “She says ‘I invented gay pop’ like Elton John and Freddy [Mercury] don’t exist,” another wrote.

Siwa later walked back her comment after much backlash and acknowledged to TMZ that many other artists before her have been at the forefront of gay pop, including Madonna and Michael Jackson. “I just want to make it more clear that gay pop is a genre. You have pop, you have rock, you have country, and you have gay pop,” she went on to say. “I definitely am not the inventor of gay pop … I want to bring more attention to it,” Siwa clarified. While it’s admirable that the 21-year-old wants to bring more LGBTQ+ awareness, her NSFW actions at a gay pride event had many incensed.

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