JoJo Siwa, Raven-Symoné and More Share Advice for Coming Out at 'Can't Cancel Pride' Event (Exclusive)

ET spoke with the many LGBTQ stars performing and appearing at the Pride Month celebration.

Adam Lambert, Billy Porter, JoJo Siwa, Raven-Symoné, Sasha Colby and many more LGBTQ stars and advocates gathered together on Thursday for P&G and iHeartMedia's Can't Cancel Pride 2023 – The Future Starts Now, an evening to celebrate and create a more inclusive and equal world. As the LGBTQ community celebrates Pride, ET's Denny Directo spoke to many of the performers about the event, advice they've received or have for coming out and what it means to be loud and proud at a time like this.  

"I am the hostess," Siwa said of the lineup, acknowledging it was "crazy" to be back for a "second year [of] hosting." 

The 20-year-old performer first came out in 2021, and has since become a prominent voice for younger members of the LGBTQ community. That said, she admitted "it's hard" coming out, and knowing who you are at such a young age. 

"And sometimes, in the moment, you don't realize that you’re not being yourself," Siwa said. "And when I was younger, I watched interviews when I was younger and the advice that I give is hilarious. A quote that I said when I was younger was, 'You have to be yourself because if you’re not yourself and then you book the job you have to go there and be that person that they thought you were and then it just sucks from the start.'"  

But now that she's matured a bit, Siwa has a simpler message. "Big me now would give some better advice. It would be that life is short and that the circle of life can be scary and one day we're not gonna be here anymore. You know what I mean? It's sad to think about but that just means you have to live your life on Earth as full as you possibly can," she shared. 

She's also excited about the future, and where the next generation will take things moving forward. "My generation is doing the work. Then my kids are gonna continue the work. Then their kids are just gonna have a great time," Siwa said. 

Raven-Symoné also agreed that coming out is hard. "It's a journey for everyone. No matter how many laws get passed, no matter how inclusive shows are, it's a struggle that you're going to go through with yourself and the people around you," she said. 

"That is the biggest hurdle we have to go through: the shame that your society might put on you or your family might put on you or your thoughts, mentally," the 37-year-old star continued. "It's getting over your personal struggle. And then once you jump over that hump, we'll catch you."

"Just gotta get there yourself," she noted.  

Monica Schipper/Getty Images for iHeartRadio

Her wife, Miranda Maday, then added, "Stay true to yourself… I think that when people live in their authenticity, the pieces fall into place naturally. It just takes time, and you have to be patient and offer yourself a lot of grace. And just continue, you know. It's life." 

And for the couple, they're at a place now, where every day is Pride. "We wake up and look at each other in the face and go, 'You know what? We're gay,'" Raven-Symoné shared, with Maday adding, "Just like that, every single day during the month of Pride, that's what we say to each other." 

For Lambert, celebrating Pride "feels fantastic," he said. "I love things that are gay and queer and everything in between. You know, I'm repping for my community, my sister, my brothers, my thems, my theys and everybody beautiful under the umbrella." 

He then recalled, "I've been doing this for a while, as an artist in the music industry. And when I first started out, it just wasn't quite nearly the same at all. I mean, there weren't a lot of queer artists and the representation was in a much different place. And obviously, our country is going through some tricky, divisive times right now, but we have come a long way."

With that in mind, Lambert then offered a message of hope. "If we hang on and push through this latest wave of homophobia, I think we'll get out on the other side stronger," the 41-year-old singer said, acknowledging that things now are "so different than it was 14 years ago," when he first got started in the industry.  

As for someone who is finally having a moment after years of climbing her way to the top, it's RuPaul's Drag Race season 15 winner Sasha Colby. "It's the Everest of drag, of what I do for a living and my whole life," she said of the reality competition as well as taking the crown. "And it’s been my best friend and my longest lover and my best therapist and it’s just great to get recognition from not only your peers and support from the world… but also to get that seal of approval from RuPaul."

And when she reflects on the journey of acceptance many are still on, "it's gonna be a wild ride with you and yourself," Colby said, noting that it will happen "at a young age or whenever you can really date yourself and get to know yourself and understand how to live with yourself." 

She then added, "Manifest what you want to come into your life and never talk down to yourself."

Adrianna Casiano for iHeartRadio

For Big Freedia, who performed an energetic mashup of the songs, "$100 Bill" and "Winning," with Ciara, the Can't Cancel Pride event was an opportunity to be surrounded by the community. "I love it, just to be around people that look like me and sound like me," she said. "It's the community that we represent, and it just feels great to be with my people." 

The rapper added that when it comes to celebrating Pride Month, she "always celebrates by just being myself, going out there and being my authentic self and showing them who I am." 

Porter, meanwhile, thinks about Pride as a way of living – and doesn't confine it to one time a year. "I don't think of it as a month," the 53-year-old award-winning actor said. "I practice it all, every day, all day."

Porter, who enlisted voguers to battle it out during a rendition of his new single, “Baby Was a Dancer,” then explained why he has a "different perspective" on Pride. "Because it's very much like Black History Month. It's like, 'No, I'm Black all day, every day,'" he offered. "So, it's not a month to me, it's all day, every day."   

In addition to everyone that ET spoke to during the event, Can't Cancel Pride 2023 featured performances and appearances by Belinda Carlisle, Corey Rae, Durand Bernarr, Elton John, Jeff Hiller, Jillian Mercado, Katy Perry, Kim Petras, Kylie Minogue, Leo Sheng, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Maybelle Blair, Melissa Etheridge, Peppermint, Ross Mathews, Ricky Martin, Stephanie Beatriz, Wilson Cruz and many, many more.

P&G and iHeartMedia’s Can’t Cancel Pride 2023 – The Future Starts Now is available to stream on iHeartRadio’s YouTube and Facebook Pages,, Revry, The Roku Channel and The Advocate Channel starting at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT on June 15.