"In the last 365 days I've felt more love than ever. A year ago today I posted this picture and shared with the world that I was gay," the 18-year-old Nickelodeon star began, posting a photo she first shared with her fans on Jan. 22, 2021 of herself wearing a T-shirt that reads: "Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever."
Siwa, who has 23.6 million followers across Instagram and YouTube alone, said she's often asked if coming out was scary for her. "The answer is yes of course, anything that's different about you is scary," she continued, "however... it's what makes me... me. So I had no fear with sharing it with the world."
The "Boomerang" singer added that people also frequently ask her, "'Your demographic is so young are you worried about telling kids [you're] gay?'" Her response? "Truthfully, I feel like I was put on this earth to be a role model for kids, and letting all the kids of the world know that loving everyone for who they are no matter what is something that I will always believe in and always share."
At the end of her post, Siwa expressed her gratitude for her fans and sent along an important reminder: "Please never forget that no matter who you are, what you look like, who you LOVE that you are absolutely perfect. Thank you for showing me the most love throughout this year and throughout my entire life. I love you all."
The post included several related photos and videos, including footage of her receiving the T-shirt, a clip of her rocking out to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" and her appearing on "Dancing With the Stars" with Jenna Johnson. The duo came in second place and made history as the first same-sex pair to compete on the show.
Shortly after coming out, Siwa shared that she was in a relationship with Kylie Prew. The two broke up in October and though the "Dance Moms" alum told Us Weekly that the split was "tough" at first, she said they've remained friends.
"I realized what was making me sad is I felt like I couldn't be friends with Ky anymore," she told the magazine in November. "And then I was like, 'This is dumb.' We started being friends by Snapchatting every day. We're going to go back to being friends."
These days, Siwa is performing across the country on her D.R.E.A.M. tour and continuing to live her best life. As she wrote on Instagram after her Salt Lake City show last week, "I can't even tell you how happy my heart is."