In a Yahoo! Life video, JoJo Siwa said she doesn't like the word "lesbian."
"I don't like the word itself," she said.
After receiving backlash, Siwa said it's not a bad word, it's just not one she uses often.
JoJo Siwa started receiving backlash after she told Yahoo! Life on July 21 that she doesn't like the word "lesbian."
"I don't like the word itself," the singer said in her video interview. "It's just like lesbian, it's just like a lot."
On Friday, the former "Dance Moms" star took to TikTok to clarify that she doesn't think it's a bad word, it's just not one she uses often.
"I never said that lesbian was a dirty word and I never would say that it's a dirty word because it is not," she said. "It is not a bad word, it is not a slur, and it is especially not a word that I am ashamed of saying or ashamed of identifying as by any means."
A representative for Siwa did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Some critics took to Twitter after Siwa's comments were published
In the Yahoo! interview, Siwa went on to compare lesbian to the word "moist," visibly cringing as she talked about it.
Some people who saw the video tweeted out responses in support of the word.
—Rio (@riomat7) July 25, 2022
—BB / Ozymandias ⚢ | HE/FAE | (@butchryouma) July 25, 2022
Others on Twitter said that a self-identifying lesbian like Siwa (she said in the Yahoo! video that "at the end of the day, that's what I am") voicing discomfort around the word is common and oftentimes a product of internalized homophobia.
—ؘ (@prcybcth) July 30, 2022
—Ana R (@BadCodeShoot) July 25, 2022
—brax (@MlLFOLOGY) July 25, 2022
Even still, some found it inexcusable considering Siwa's large following and status as a young gay icon.
You can view the full video below.
Siwa publicly addressed her sexuality for the first time in January 2021
Public speculation about Siwa's sexuality began in January 2021 when she shared a Twitter photo of herself wearing a shirt that read "Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever." She later confirmed she was a part of the LGBTQ community that month in an Instagram Live video.
"I always believed that my person was just going to be my person," she said in the video. "If that person happened to be a boy, great! And if that person happened to be a girl, great! I think I'm just really happy. I think in life you know when you meet your person, I really do."
In June, Siwa attended her first Pride parade which included a surprise appearance from her girlfriend, Kylie Prew.
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