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Kid's pop sensation Jojo Siwa has set the internet abuzz after coming out as gay over the weekend with the singer posting a photo wearing a 'Best Gay Cousin Ever' shirt.
"My cousin got me a new shirt," she wrote, as fans quickly flooded the comments to voice their support for the star.
One fan wrote: "Respect! You are helping so many young gay people find strength right now. It takes courage to be ourselves and we are heartened by those who go before us. You go, JoJo!"
Another said: "Hey, my kids (9 and 6) love you. We wish you the absolute best in being your full self. And listen, if you are part of the magic of our LGBTQIA+ community, YOU HIT LOTTO. It is the BEST. You get to love who you are and you get to encourage others to love themselves too."
My cousin got me a new shirt pic.twitter.com/DuHhgRto7b
- JoJo Siwa!:rainbow::heart::ribbon: (@itsjojosiwa) January 22, 2021
Celebrities were also among those to comment on the status, with blogger Perez Hilton tweeting: "Gay icon!!!!"
TV host Ellen Degeneres also shared her support with a love heart emoji in response to the announcement.
While messages from followers were overwhelmingly supportive, there were, unfortunately, a few haters who declared they would be binning all their children's JoJo merch, including her signature bow range.
One disgruntled mother posted: "My daughter has always been a #1 fan but this is not appropriate for her at all. As for us, we will be taking all the clothes, bows and bedroom decor down. I'm really sad about this. We follow biblical principles and this does not represent the Bible at all."
Bizarrely, shortly after the announcement, the star was a victim of 'swatting' - a term which refers to a hoax call being made to law enforcement in an effort to send them to the location of the individual.
Paparazzi captured the moment police arrived, capturing Siwa outside of her house alongside at least seven police vehicles, a fire truck, and several officers.
JoJo later seemed to point the finger at said paparazzi for making the claim that had her swatted.
Meanwhile, the incident didn't seem to damper the mood of the ever-bubbly singer, who was seen smiling in the snaps despite the situation.
She later explained to fans what exactly went down after the photos began circulating on social media.
"Basically, there's this thing called swatting. We're at our house, and all of a sudden, there was a whole bunch of police telling us to come outside the house," she said via her videographer's Instagram.
"We went outside, hands up, because you have to obviously follow the rules, and then the police were saying that somebody had called and made a claim.
"And then, all of a sudden, paparazzi came from around the corner," she continued.
"It's called 'swatting,' where the media will actually call the police, so that way you have to come outside your house.
"I think because I recently came out to the internet, the media is obviously very excited, which I love, and I love the support. However, you could've just hung outside my house and I would've eventually come outside my house.
"I feel bad because there was about 50 police at our house, and those police could've had a much better time spent somewhere else actually helping somebody, instead of dealing with a fake claim from paparazzi.
Siwa has also since taking to Instagram Live to chat to fans, answer questions and share more about why she chose to come out now.
"Thank you because for the last 48 hours... 72 hours... I have gotten the most endless amount of love and support," she began.
"I'm really happy. Now that the world gets to see this side of my life... it makes me really, really, happy. I've been happy in this land for a minute now and now that I get to share this with the world-it's awesome!"
Former Dance Moms star JoJo first had fans thinking the announcement was imminent after she posted a video to TikTok singing the Lady Gaga's hit track 'Born This Way'.
In the clip, she dances and mimes the lyrics: "No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgender life, I'm on the right track baby, I was born to survive."
The news seemingly came out of the blue, with the 'Kid In A Candy Store' singer not being publicly linked to anyone since it was revealed over social media that she and musician Mark Bontempo had parted ways last year.
"Mark doesn't deserve hateful things like this," she wrote."He deserves to have people support him. You have NO idea about Mark and I's relationship. How much fun it was. How happy we both were, and how happy we both are.
"We decided it's best for us to not be in a relationship...that's all. Still friends, I still have his back and he has mine....He is not toxic. We're teenagers. And our relationship didn't work out right now. He did nothing. I did nothing. Just better being friends. Relax."
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