Pop culture always comes back around. Last month I took a moment to ponder why two of the biggest stars of queer culture last year, Lil Nas X and JoJo Siwa, had seemingly dropped out of the news cycle. Lil Nas X was off Twitter for several months, and chatter surrounding Siwa had largely died down outside of her reality dance competition show with her mom.
Well, if there’s anything we’ve learned over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that time is a flat circle and everything comes back around. News about culture’s buzziest queer youths was bound to pick up again. And pick up it did.
Last week in this very column we talked about how much fun Lil Nas X had at the Grammys following his big return to social media, and the spoilers of new music to come. And this week, Siwa has returned to making headlines. It’s almost like we’re back in 2021 again (new COVID-19 wave and all).
Every week in “The Buzz,” we catch you up on the queer and trans pop culture you need to know. From Siwa’s news-making haircut to a Sam Elliott apology, here’s what you missed this week in LGBTQ2S+ pop culture.
→JoJo Siwa had a big week. The pop star/TikToker/dancing star debuted a new look, cutting off her signature ponytail in favour of a cropped pixie. It was a relatable moment for many a queer who went through a “big chop” of their own at one point or another.
Cutting off your hair and posting about it online is basically a queer right of passage. Next up: a septum piercing, a bunch of cats and a U-Haul.
Siwa was also announced as one of the panel judges for the upcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance, where she’ll certainly bring her signature brand of upbeat optimism.
But over the weekend, it was revealed that despite being nominated for an award this year (and basically carrying Nickelodeon’s brand by herself for the past half decade), she was not invited to the Kids’ Choice Awards.
Siwa had previously attended every in-person Kids’ Choice Awards ceremony since 2017 (2020 was held virtually), and has been a face of Nickelodeon since signing a talent deal with the network in 2017. This year she was nominated for the Favourite Social Music Star Award, which went to TikToker Dixie D’Amelio at this weekend’s ceremony.
Siwa memorably came out as queer a year ago, and has since used her platform to be vocal about queer issues. She competed on last season’s Dancing With The Stars as part of the show’s first same-sex couple ever.
Fans were quick to suggest that Siwa’s public queerness may have been why she wasn’t invited to the award ceremony.
“Probably cuz you are the color of the rainbow and they’re just orange 😏” Disney Channel star Mollee Gray commented on Siwa’s Instagram post.
Neither Nickelodeon or the Kids’ Choice Awards have commented publicly on the situation.
→Speaking of last year’s other queer break-out star, Lil Nas X turned 23 this weekend and celebrated like only an Aries superstar would. The rapper’s extravagant party featured glitter football attire and Alvin and the Chipmunks.
For an age when ostensibly nobody likes you, 23 seems to be off to a great start for the star.
→Killing Eve ended its final season this weekend, sending Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer’s murderous lovers off with, well, some controversy.
→Elliot Page has shared another look at his revamped The Umbrella Academy character.
→That Orphan Black spin-off is happening!
→One of the heirs to the Walt Disney Co. has come out as trans and condemned anti-LGBTQ2S+ bills. In an interview with Los Angeles Times, Charlee Disney, who works as a high school teacher, spoke publicly about their identity for the first time.
“I had very few openly gay role models,” Disney said. “And I certainly didn’t have any trans or nonbinary role models. I didn’t see myself reflected in anyone, and that made me feel like there was something wrong with me.”
→The Nimona movie lives! Last year it seemed like the film adaptation of ND Stevenson’s wildly successful graphic novel was doomed to slip through the cracks after Disney’s acquisition of Blue Sky Entertainment. However, this week Stevenson announced that not only was the film picked up by Netflix, it’s got a shiny cast tied to it as well, including queer Try Guys veteran Eugene Lee Yang.
→Non-binary actor Emma Corrin, who played Princess Diana on The Crown, wore a wildly camp balloon-themed ensemble on the red carpet at the Olivier Awards this weekend.
The shoes that look like they’re stepping on little balloons are sending me!!
→Rowan Blanchard and Auli’i Cravalho, both former Disney stars who have come out as queer, are set to star in the new queer rom-com Crush, which drops on Hulu later this month. And the first trailer looks super cute!
→This video of basketball star and noted TikToker Sedona Prince chatting with fans ahead of last week’s Final Four is an absolute delight, and includes a heartwarming moment of Prince meeting a fan who they inspired to come out.
→Trans actress Talisa Garcia has just been cast in the new Disney+ series Willow, based on the 1988 fantasy film of the same name.
→Sam Elliott has apologized for those homophobic comments about The Power of the Dog.