JoJo Siwa is out—and very proud.
The dancer is opening up about her appreciation for her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series character Madison, who is openly queer. Siwa made her guest-starring debut in Sept. 7’s episode of the series, in which Madison, a Camp Shallow Lake alum, returns to the summer camp to visit ex-girlfriend Maddox (Saylor Bell Curda). When she found out who, exactly, she’d be playing, Siwa realized it would be a turning point in her career.
“I’ve never played a gay character—besides myself, and I’m not a character, I’m just myself, but that’s that’s how it looks to the world,” Siwa told Entertainment Weekly Sept. 7. “But this is so straightforward: Madison is a queer human. I think it’s really special getting to know that kids are going to watch this and not be like, ‘She’s queer? What’s that?’ They’re going to be like, ‘She’s queer. Cool.’ I love that the next generation just kind of [moves past] it versus it being a weird thing.”
Siwa first came out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in January 2021. Less than a month later, she went public with her relationship with Kylie Prew; after being on-again, off-again, the two confirmed their break-up in Aug. 2022. She was also part of the first same-sex couple to compete on Dancing With the Stars, ultimately coming in second place in 2021.