While Thanksgiving can be full of fun holiday traditions, it can also be a time where LGBTQ people feel left out and unable to celebrate with their families. So JoJo Siwa is here to offer some advice on how to make your own “Friendsgiving” as fun (and safe) as possible with your chosen family.
As a part of Messenger’s new “How We Friendsgiving” video series on Watch Together, Siwa recruited her friend (and Dancing With the Stars partner) Jenna Johnson and Luke Eisner to help show fans how to go about making an easy, fun Friendsgiving possible. Along with sharing a recipe for turkey cranberry meatballs, an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip shared with Billboard also shows the 18-year-old star explaining the simple difference between a classic Thanksgiving, and the more laid-back Friendsgiving.
“Thanksgiving with your family and the proper meal is fancy,” she tells her friends, smiling. “But then Friendsgiving’s chill and hoodies that are cute for the fall. Like one that says ‘With My Boo.'”
Siwa later joined Pansexual Pride Facebook group admin Erik Josef Audare and It Gets Better Project‘s education coordinator Rae Sweet and their Youth Voices members Hammy and Zach for a Messenger video call about the importance of being around your chosen family at the holidays.
“I do feel like there’s people in my life that I call my brothers, that I call my sisters, that I call my family,” she said during the chat. And they really are, you know, they’re the people that are more than friends to you. And they’re the people that you would take a bullet for.”
The star also made it clear that while allyship around the holiday season is an absolute necessity, sometimes you just need to be around people who understand exactly what you’re going through. “I feel like as much support as an ally can give to you, there’s something about actually being a part of the LGBTQ community that only you can understand,” she said. “Having people around you who are also in the community while you’re trying to come out to the world, it gives you the validation that everything you’re feeling is OK.”
Siwa, who is managed by Caryn Sterling and represented by CAA, has been hard at work as of late. Along with her finals-bound run on the latest season of Dancing With the Stars, the Nickelodeon star has also been busy prepping her upcoming tour. During prep, Siwa accused Nickelodeon in September of allegedly blocking her from performing songs from her original movie The J Team. She’s since said that she plans to “sing what I want” during her shows, despite what the kid’s network may want from her.
Check out an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip from Siwa’s “How We Friendsgiving” episode, as well as her full conversation with Pansexual Pride, below: