The monstrous nature of public life becomes almost unbelievable for those who exist outside the cis and heteronormative standards of Hollywood and beyond. The evidence for this can feel like an avalanche—the attack on Laverne Cox in November, the vitriol Elliot Page received for coming out, the open contempt for Zaya Wade online—but the most recent one comes via JoJo Siwa, who endured an LAPD raid after coming out online.
On Instagram Live, Siwa revealed she had been swatted on Saturday, after she told fans she was the “happiest” she’d “ever been” after coming out. YouTube user TRQFFIC posted footage from the raid—which is form of harassment in which trolls make false reports to police—and in a followup video, Siwa explained the events to fans: “Basically what happened is we were at our house and all of a sudden there was a whole bunch of police that were telling us to come outside the house and we didn’t know why.”
Her coming out opened the floodgates on an outpouring of support, but also hatred and tabloid speculation—already, outlets like the Daily Mail seek to label her sexuality, despite Siwa admitting she doesn’t “really know this answer” about how she identifies and wants “to keep things in my life private until they’re ready to be public.” This indefensible police raid also situates quite clearly the reality she now faces as the most famous teen entertainer on the planet. Despite obvious assumptions about who might have called the police, Siwa said in the Instagram live afterward that paparazzi rapidly flooded the scene as she and her family left the house. Their swift arrival led her to believe perhaps the cops had been called by the media to get her outside. It’s heartbreaking that she even has to consider it.
Still, Siwa won’t be stopped, probably. From TikTok videos posted after the raid, it seems she’s doing fine, and can’t be stopped by anonymous internet goons intent on taking this moment from her.
Go, JoJo, go!