JoJo Siwa is not regretting calling Candace Cameron Bure’s “traditional marriage” comments “rude and hurtful.”
“As I’m getting older, I’m starting to realize what an impact I really do get to have,” Siwa, 19, tells PEOPLE at Disney+’s Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The So You Think You Can Dance judge, dressed as the Rocketman in a feathered red and orange ensemble, adds that she is “learning that I have a chance to use my voice, use my platform for something good and to change the world for the better.”
“I think that’s a really cool position to be in,” she continues about having a powerful voice in the LGBTQ community, and the support she has received since her response to Bure, 46. “I am being honest and maybe being a little disruptive to somebody’s life, but it’s what I believe in. And so to have good people stand behind you with it felt really nice.”
Frazer Harrison/Getty; Todd Owyoung/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty JoJo Siwa and Candace Cameron Bure
“We have not [talked], and I don’t think we ever will again,” she says of the status of her communication with Bure after the Full House star, 46, purportedly excluded the gay community from shows on the Great American F amily (GAF) network, of which she is the chief creative officer.
“That’s what’s f—ed up,” continues Siwa. “You not liking gay marriage, do your thing girl. You being religious, do your thing girl. Of course, I would want everybody to do what they want to do. But to purposely exclude someone because of who they love, that’s sh—y.”
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MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images
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To resolve the situation, Siwa believes that Bure should take up an offer from GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis’ to “come have a conversation.”
“That’s what I would want Candace to do,” adds Siwa. “I would want her to have a conversation with GLAAD. Because even though I am educated, GLAAD is such an incredible organization. Sarah is a genius when it comes to the gay community. And I think that Candace having a conversation with her would be not only eye-opening to Candace but eye-opening to a whole world of people who might have those same beliefs.”
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Siwa first voiced her disappointment on social media one day after The Wall Street Journal published Bure’s comments that she intends to “keep traditional marriage at the core” of her partnership with the GAF network.
It followed a high-profile back-and-forth between the pair in July after a now-viral TikTok video posted by Siwa labeled Bure the “rudest celebrity” she’s ever met.
Bure had shared an apology on Instagram during the July exchange after seeing the comment — though Siwa has claimed Bure left some details out of her retelling of the story.
Siwa first addressed Bure’s recent comments on Instagram on Nov. 15. “Honestly, I can’t believe after everything that went down just a few months ago, that she would not only create a movie with intention of excluding LGBTQIA+, but then also talk about it in the press,” she wrote. “This is rude and hurtful to a whole community of people.”
Bure’s former Full House costar Jodie Sweetin also shared her support for Siwa in the comments, writing, “You know I love you” with a red heart emoji.
“Having Jodie Sweetin agree with what I was saying and that meant a lot because she is a really kind, good human who is doing good for the world,” says Siwa, who adds that she has been friends with Sweetin since she was 13.
“Maddie Ziegler, who’s been my friend since Dance Moms, she’s another kind, good, beautiful human that also commented on it,” she adds of Ziegler’s ‘go off jojo!!!!!!! ❤️❤️❤️’ recent comment of support.
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Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock for Pantages Avery Cyrus and JoJo Siwa
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Speaking to PEOPLE in April 2021, Siwa, who held hands with Avery Cyrus Sunday at Elton John’s show, revealed that she never wanted her January 2021 coming out to be a “big deal.”
“I’ve known since I was little,” Siwa added while explaining that she wasn’t sure how to accurately describe her orientation.
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“I still don’t know what I am. It’s like, I want to figure it out,” she continued. “Like, I don’t know, bisexual, pansexual, queer, lesbian, gay, straight. I always just say gay because it just kind of covers it or queer because I think the keyword is cool.”
“I like queer,” she added. “Technically I would say that I am pansexual because that’s how I have always been my whole life is just like, my human is my human.”