JoJo Siwa is many things at 18 years old: an incredibly popular YouTube star, an accomplished dancer, a trailblazer, a teen idol, and a loud and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.
She also knows what it's like to be in and out of romantic love in the limelight.
During a recent chat with Pride Source's editorial director Chris Azzopardi, Siwa opened up about her relationship with Kylie Prew ("Ky") and what it's been like to go through both a public romance and public breakup.
"Honestly, it's been a rollercoaster," she told Pride Source. While she and Prew are no longer a romantic item, the two still share a special friendship. "I am still best friends with Ky, and she will forever be the first girl that I was ever in love with and the person who made me realize that I was gay and the person who made me so happy," she added.
Siwa said she and Prew still talk "almost every day" and that Prew has been supportive of Siwa's latest projects, including being part of the first-ever same-sex couple to compete on "Dancing with the Stars" and running her own Peacock show, "Siwas Dance Pop Revolution." "She loves the little kiddos on the show, so they all love her," Siwa said.
Siwa has tried to protect Prew from some of the intense public scrutiny surrounding the couple's break up. "When the world started speculating [about] things between the two of us, I was checking with Ky, being like, 'Hey, you good? You want me to say anything?'" she said. "So it's tricky. But one day at a time, and you just keep moving forward."
Siwa's relationship with Prew was the catalyst for her to come out to her mother, Jessalynn Siwa, who has been by JoJo's side since the two appeared on Season 5 of "Dance Moms." Siwa described the moment she came out as a "one-minute" conversation.
"I got in the car, and my mom said, 'You really like her, don't you?'" Siwa recalled. "It was our last night together, and we kissed… I said, 'Yeah.' And my mom goes, 'As a friend or as more than a friend?' And I just said, "As more than a friend. And my mom then said, 'I figured."
"She made it easy on me," she added. "And truthfully, I knew my feelings for Ky, but if we didn't kiss, I would've just said, 'Just as a friend.' Like, it was only because it was so real to me that I was comfortable with fully telling everybody."
Read the full Pride Source interview here.