JoJo Siwa defied critics and became even more famous after coming out

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Palmer Haasch
·4 min read
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jojo siwa
JoJo Siwa. Amy Sussman/Invision/AP
  • JoJo Siwa is a pop star and influencer who came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in January.

  • Recent Insider poll data shows that Siwa was 9 percentage points better known than in a December 2020 survey.

  • Siwa's favorability also increased between the two surveys.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

JoJo Siwa, the 17-year old Nickelodeon-signed pop star and influencer, has been an icon both onstage and online for years. Now, Insider poll data shows she's become even more of a household name after she came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in late January, defying critics who condemned her announcement.

Known for her energetic, wholesome presence as well as songs like "Boomerang" and "Nonstop," Siwa got her start on the reality television program "Dance Moms" before launching a singing and social media-based career. In addition to being one of the most popular children's entertainers ever, she also has tens of millions of followers on TikTok and YouTube.

Insider surveyed over 1,000 people through SurveyMonkey Audience to find out which of over 75 influencers are the most well-known, liked, and disliked online. Insider previously conducted a similar poll in December 2020.

New poll data shows that Siwa is 9 percentage points better known than she was in previous survey data. Her fame increased more than any other influencer included in the two surveys.

Siwa's coming out appears to have increased her level of fame

Siwa was already one of the most well-known influencers, according to previous Insider data. Of those surveyed in the December poll, 27% knew who Siwa was, with about a third each of respondents finding her favorable and unfavorable.

Data from the most recent Insider Influencer Index showed that Siwa was known by approximately 36% of poll respondents, indicating a statistically significant 9 percentage point change between the two surveys.

Siwa has been in the spotlight in recent months after she came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in late January.

On January 20, Siwa appeared in a TikTok tagged #PrideHouseLA and posted her own video lip-syncing along to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," a known queer anthem, sparking speculation that she was coming out. Two days later, she appeared to confirm the speculation by posting a photo of herself wearing a shirt that read "best gay cousin ever." A day after that, she confirmed that she was a member of the LGBTQ+ community in an Instagram livestream.

Since that eventful week, she's gone public about her relationship with her girlfriend Kylie Prew, who she said encouraged her to come out, and was the subject of a People cover story.

Siwa's favorability also increased, and experts told Insider that her coming out could have a positive effect on kids and parents

In addition to how well-known she is, Insider poll data showed that Siwa's favorability increased 3 percentage points among respondents who knew her compared to December 2020 survey data. Her unfavorability decreased by 7 percentage points.

She's been candid online about her life and coming out since January, and experts previously told Insider that her profile meant she could have a positive effect on both LGBTQ+ kids and their parents. One of the biggest stars of her generation, she's seen as a positive influence on her millions of fans, many of whom are young.

"For JoJo specifically, I really think the potential for young kids to see her living authentically will ultimately inspire so many of her young fans to do that and accept that part of themselves," Anthony Ramos, GLAAD's head of talent, told Insider in January.

Furthermore, it could help the parents of queer children be more accepting as well, according to Dr. Lea Lis, psychiatrist and author of "No Shame: Real Talk With Your Kids About Sex, Self-Confidence and Healthy Relationships." Lis told Insider at the time that Siwa was a "figure for young people" who would "share her news with their parents."

Siwa told People that she "never wanted [her coming out] to be a big deal." But between an outpouring of support, along with hate comments that Siwa recently opened up about, it's easy to see the impact of her decision. Insider survey data indicates that in the months since, her platform has only grown, widening the impact she could have on LGBTQ+ youth and parents.

"Performing has always made me super happy," Siwa told People. "But for the first time, personally, I am like, whoa, happiness. I am so proud to be me."

SurveyMonkey Audience polls from a national sample balanced by census data of age and gender. Respondents are incentivized to complete surveys through charitable contributions. Generally speaking, digital polling tends to skew toward people with access to the internet. SurveyMonkey Audience doesn't try to weight its sample based on race or income. Recent polling data collected 1,129 respondents March 26-27, 2021 with a 3 percentage point margin of error, December data collected 1,042 respondents December 24-25, 2020 with a 3 percentage point margin of error,

Read the original article on Insider