Olivia Ponton has come out as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.
The model and TikToker, who currently boasts over six million followers on the platform, opened up about her sexuality for the first time in an interview with Teen Vogue.
“I want to announce that I’m bisexual, and I’m now proud to be a part of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Ponton, who was born in Naples, Florida. “I feel like it didn’t really even occur to me until I moved out here [to Los Angeles] that being bisexual was even a possibility in my brain.”
In the interview, Ponton opened up about how she met her girlfriend, fellow TikToker Kaila Novak. She slid into her DMs and was “curved” for a week before Kaila answered, and the two started seeing each other full-time in January.
Ponton said her first official “coming out” moment was when she told her best friend that she was attracted to Kaila. “It was a very surreal thing to say out loud,” she recalled. “I’ve never said this before; I’ve never felt this kind of way. And my friend was super supportive and proud of me.”
She was inspired to come out after 18-year-old singer and YouTube personality Jojo Siwa publicly disclosed her pansexuality with the world earlier this year.
“I saw that and thought ‘Wow, that’s really amazing for young children now because she’s such a big role model. And she’s really become almost a role model for me to look up to as well,” said Ponton. “I want to let young girls know that it’s okay to not even know your sexuality until you’re older.
“I think it should be more normalized to come out [when you’re ready for it].”
Later, Ponton shared advice for others in the LGBTQ+ community who may not feel comfortable opening up about their sexuality or gender identity with others.
“Really try to understand yourself, and don’t let anyone put pressure on you. Really take the time to focus on yourself and realize that all of the feelings that you’re feeling are okay and valid and completely normal. Make yourself happy before you try to make anyone else happy in your life,” she said.
“Don’t dim yourself down to fit into the ‘right’ crowd of people. I’m a very bright person and I’m a very big person. And I’ve dimmed my light a few times for others, and it’s just not healthy. Find friends that support you and surround you in happiness and the light you need to live.”
You can read Olivia Ponton’s full interview with Teen Vogue here.
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