JoJo Siwa denies saying ‘lesbian’ is a ‘dirty word’: ‘It is not a slur’
JoJo Siwa has clarified that she doesn’t think “lesbian is a dirty word” after an interview in which she stated she would much rather be labelled as “gay”.
The 19-year-old Dance Moms alum has been criticised for her views on the word “lesbian”, joking that it is similar to the common meme of people being disgusted by the word “moist”.
In an interview with Yahoo! Life, she stated that she prefers the term “gay”, stating that she does not “like the word [lesbian] itself”.
“It’s just like a lot,” she told the outlet. “But I mean, at the end of the day, that’s what I am… It’s like the word moist! It’s just like … ugh!”
She added in the interview that fans had begun describing her as a “gay icon”, which she described as “an honour that I do not take lightly”.
A TikTok commenter said that Siwa’s discomfort with the word “lesbian” is akin to the social media star labelling it a “dirty word”.
“She did nothing but insult us, my sexuality is not a dirty word,” the commenter wrote.
Replying to @🌈Liz🌈 my sexuality nor ANYONES is a dirty word ❤️🏳️🌈
JoJo Siwa however took to TikTok to explain that “lesbian” is not a “slur”, but “gay” just “flows off the tongue for me”.
She added: “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.
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“It is not a bad word. It is not a slur, and it especially is not a word that I am ashamed of saying or ashamed of identifying as by any means.
“I don’t hate the word lesbian. I just, whenever somebody talks to me about my sexuality, I just say that that I’m gay. It’s not a word that flows off the tongue for me if that makes sense.”
Research in April found that two thirds of lesbians (68 per cent) delay coming out due to harmful stereotypes, including that the label itself has been “oversexualised”.
Pippa, a volunteer for LGBT+ young people’s charity Just Like Us, who conducted the research, said that she “didn’t feel comfortable” using the label until she was 20.
“I didn’t really know how to talk to people about it, because the word lesbian is so tied to sex and pornography that it always feels like calling yourself ‘lesbian’ is the same as sharing details about your sex life,” she said.