Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Jojo Siwa Discusses Being a 'Gay Icon' With Fellow Icon Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox and Jojo Siwa

Laverne Cox made her debut as host of E!’s Live from E! at the 2021 People’s Choice Awards on Tuesday evening and had a chance to catch up with Jojo Siwa fresh off of her second-place finish on Dancing With the Stars — an achievement that led Ellen DeGeneres to label the teenage singer “a gay icon.”

“Forty years ago, it was illegal for two women to dance together in public and two men to dance together,” Cox said. “That was why the Stonewall rebellion happened,” she reflected, while commenting on Siwa’s history-making appearance on DWTS. Siwa was the first contestant to dance with a same-sex partner in the show’s 30 seasons. “So it’s amazing that it wasn’t a big deal. What I loved about it was that people were like, ‘Hey, she’s dancing the house down.’ It’s about her talent, it’s about her personality,” Cox continued.

Siwa made it clear she understood that she was making queer history. “It honestly feels like such an honor,” Siwa said, adding, “and I know what a big deal it is.”

“When I had the opportunity to dance with another female, immediately I knew there was no other way for me to do it because I knew what it would do for the world,” she said. “I knew what it would do for little kids at home who maybe felt like they were afraid to love who they wanted to love, and that’s something that I’ve always said is, love who you wanna love, be who you wanna be.”

Siwa was also effusive in her praise of her dance partner, Jenna Johnson Chmerkovskiy. “Getting to dance with Jenna on Dancing With the Stars, getting to dance with another female, just showed that we’re watching a bunch of boys and girls dancing together and they’re amazing, too. But watching a girl and girl dancing together is just as amazing.”

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