Children’s Star JoJo Siwa Comes Out as LGBTQ+

Image result for jojo siwa comes out
Jojo Siwa in her “coming out” Tiktok post

Children’s music, television, and dance star JoJo Siwa is most commonly known for her appearance on Dance Moms, her hit singles “Boomerang” and “Kid in A Candy Store,” and her bright, eccentric, fashion marked with her signature hairbow. She is idolized by children all over the world, and when she came out as part of the LGBTQ+ community, it was a monumental moment.

On January 20th, 2021, Siwa posted on her Tiktok account a video in which she mouthed the lyrics to the song “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga. It was the verse “No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered life, I’m on the right track baby, I was born to survive,” that sent the internet in an outburst of emotions. Family and friends congratulated her, many fans expressed love, and some people were left confused by her video, as she didn’t completely confirm her sexuality yet. Two days later she posted to her Twitter account and Instagram story a photo of herself wearing a shirt saying “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.” with the caption, “My cousin got me a new shirt.” This confirmed that she is in fact a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Image result for jojo siwa comes out

Since her coming out, she has come forward in a live stream with fans that was later posted to her social media accounts and said that she is feeling “happier than she has ever been” and that she’s receiving “endless love”. “I want people to know that there is so much love in the world. There’s so so so so much love and it is so incredible and so amazing. It’s wonderful,” she beamed. When asked by a fan what her label is, she responded that she doesn’t specify because she is still unsure. However, she did make clear, “I think humans are awesome. I think humans are really incredible people. Right now I am super duper happy and I want to share everything with the world, but I also want to keep things in my life private until they’re ready to be public.”

On February 3rd, 2021, Siwa spoke as a guest star on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. She revealed that she has a girlfriend, whom she described as “the most amazing, wonderful, perfect, most beautiful girlfriend in the whole world,” and that she was the one that encouraged her to come out. She also acknowledged the stigma surrounding coming out and how scary it can be. “Of course not everybody in the world is going to accept it right now, but there are so many people that are going to accept it right now,” she said. “And like I say, even if there’s a million people that don’t accept it, there’s a hundred million that do.”

Jojo Siwa’s coming out is incredibly inspirational and significant for her young audience to see. Young adult celebrities and child stars in the past often dreaded coming out and didn’t come out until years after the peak of their fame due to rampant homophobia and transphobia in society. But in Siwa’s case, she is more popular than ever and her coming out shows kids, especially young LGBTQ+ kids, that it is okay to be who you are and that not being heterosexual or cisgender is a normal and acceptable thing that is not to be shamed for. 


Positive TikTok Accounts to Start Your 2021 Right

2021 has already been an eventful year, and we’re not even through the first month! It seems that we can’t even escape all the current events on some of our favorite social medias, take Tiktok for example. There are so many videos of people arguing and sharing their own opinions on current events. Sometimes, this can be exhausting. However, don’t delete the app just yet. Here are some positive accounts that can help put a smile on your face.


If you’re an animal lover, this account is for you. George the monkey and his owner make videos like opening packages, playing with toys, and even cooking food. It’s funny to see this monkey doing human activities, and George is pretty cute, too!

George the monkey opening a package


Victoria Garrack is a D-1 athlete who dedicates her Tiktok account to mental health and self love. She shares her experience with overcoming an eating disorder, and learning how to build up her mental health. Sharing tips with her viewers, Victoria’s account is all about love and positivity.

An example of the types of videos Victoria creates, prioritizing loving you for who you are!


Dan Povenmire is an American animator who is best known for his work on Disney, specifically as the co-creator of Phineas and Ferb, and the voice of Dr.Doofenshmirtz. On his account, you’ll find lots of Disney related videos like behind the scenes of Phineas and Ferb, his animations he does outside of Disney, and overall lots of videos having to do with his job. This account is so much fun, and brings anyone back to their childhood.

An old storyboard from the show Dan co-created

Although all three of these tik tok accounts have different purposes, they all have one thing in common: each creator just wants help people. Whether that be to entertain, or to share mental health tips going into 2021, these accounts and more can help you stay positive and out of current events. Yes, it’s always good to stay educated and updated on current events, but it’s always okay to take a break.

How We Got Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King day has been a federal holiday for the last twenty-five years. Every year, on the third Monday of January, we work to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. It is also a day that calls people to take part in public service. Really, it has become a standard part of U.S. history and holidays. But making this day an official federal holiday was not so simple. We know it was made a federal holiday in 1986. But it was actually proposed nearly twenty years before, in 1968. In fact, it wasn’t even recognized by every state in the nation until 2000.

The idea of Martin Luther King Day was originally introduced by Representative John Conyers. This was just four days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. However, in the 60’s and 70’s, MLK was still a somewhat controversial figure. Because of this, the bill didn’t even come up for a vote in the House of Representatives until eleven years later, in 1979. Even with the support of both the King Center, and President Jimmy Carter, the bill didn’t get the two thirds majority it needed. People and organizations across the country continued to fight for Martin Luther King day. It was even supported by musicians such as Stevie Wonder. Finally, in 1983, the bill was passed by 53 votes. President Ronald Reagan Signed the bill and it was first celebrated in 1986. Martin Luther King Day was an official federal holiday.

But the fight was not done. It still took another fourteen years for the holiday to be accepted by every state. Seventeen states had already accepted it, but many hadn’t. One of the hardest states to convince was Arizona. In 1990, it was put to an Arizona Voter referendum. In the end, it was actually the National Football League that convinced Arizona. The NFL said that should Arizona not vote for the acceptance of Martin Luther King day, they would not hold the 1993 Super Bowl there. That is exactly what happened too. Arizona voted against MLK day, and, as promised, the Super Bowl was moved to California. Two years later, Arizona voted for the approval of Martin Luther King day.

Now, we celebrate Martin Luther King Day nationally. It is a day to remind us, not only of the importance of Martin Luther King Jr’ s message of equality, but the need for us to continue to fight for equality as well. Especially during these turbulent times, MLK day is an opportunity for us to continue working towards a more accepting, kind, and empathetic world.


A Very Merry Covid Holiday!

It’s finally December, a month full of love, joy and cheer! And, still, another month in this pandemic. Yet, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little holiday cheer. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or any (or no) other holidays, you can still experience some winter joy safely.

Lights in the Parkway
Experience a drive-through holiday spectacular at Lehigh Parkway in Allentown. Described as a winter wonderland, you can experience beautiful lights from the comfort of your own car. This is open nightly untill December 27th, from 5:30 to 10pm. For more information, you can visit the website below.

Lehigh Valley Zoo’s Winter Light Spectacular
Lehigh Valley Zoo’s Winter Light Spectacular features over 1.2 million lights, and is a great way to have some safe holiday fun! While you do get out of your car for this event, masks must be worn and social distancing will be in effect your whole visit. You can visit the zoo Wednesday through Sunday evenings until January 2nd, and must make a reservation in advance. For more information and ticket prices, visit the website below.

Knoebels Joy Through the Grove- Knoebels Joy Through the Grove is an all new drive through light display located at the Knoebels theme park in Elysburg, PA. Guests will be able to drive through main boulevard and most of the campground. This is open nightly from 5:30 to 9 on weeknights (open until 10 on weekends), until January 3rd. You do not need to make a reservation for this event. However, the price of tickets will go up on weekends. I have recently been to this event, and will say it makes for a very relaxing night with whoever you want to drive through with.

Summer in the Wintertime themed lights at Knoebels Joy Through the Grove
The Knoebels park mascots!
The Knoebel’s ferris wheel projecting beautiful lights!

Some honorable mentions for covid-safe holiday activities are…

Hershey Park Sweetlights- Koziar’s Christmas Village-

I hope you can enjoy some of these light spectaculars with family and friends. As always, Happy Holidays from The Performer to you!

Charter Arts Winter Spirit Week 2020

Despite not being able to have their annual Christmas traditions in-person this year due to covid-19, the student council at Charter Arts has still found a way to bring the student body together. Through collaborating with the Charter Arts Production Arts students, the student council was able to come up with a fun virtual winter spirit week for the students to partake in. Below I have included the schedule for spirit week, as well as instructions that explain how to attend student council’s first-ever virtual trivia night. We hope to see many student entries this year!

Students: a link can be found on your grade-level Google Classrooms

Hanukkah (It’s Not Christmas)

Technically, you can also spell it Chanukah, even though auto correct doesn’t believe me. But anyways, Hanukkah is by far the most well known Jewish Holiday out there. Everyone’s heard of it, mentioned by the Jewish character on Christmas episodes, noted in last minute Hanukkah decorations among the Christmas explosion at the mall. It’s no secret that there are candles and dreidels and stuff. But, really, most people don’t actually know what’s going on with most of it. Are there special customs? Is it Jewish Christmas? Never fear, I’m here to clear some things up about Hanukkah that you might not know.

First, It’s happening right now. What? It’s not during Christmas? No, my friend, it is not. The date of Hanukkah actually changes year-to-year. This is because Jewish Holidays follow a lunar calendar, which means that the months aren’t based off the Earth’s rotation of the sun, rather, the moons rotation of the Earth. This makes the Jewish year a different length than a normal year. So, sometimes Hanukkah is on Christmas and most of the time it’s not. This year it started December 10 and ends December 17. A few years ago it was actually on Thanksgiving. In case you were wondering, Latkes with turkey is the greatest food possibly ever.

Second, It’s eight nights long for a reason (and it’s not a Menorah, It’s a Channukia). I’d also just like to quickly explain that while it is eight nights, it’s only seven days. Jewish Holidays start and end at night so the first night is before the first day. Anyways, The eight night thing isn’t random. There’s a whole story behind it. The story is that long ago, (like bible long ago) the Main Jewish Temple was destroyed. While searching the ruins of the temple, the Jews couldn’t find any oil to light the Menorah. The Menorah was a sort of lamp with seven flames, used to light the temple. Finally they found a tiny bit of oil, and lo and behold, it lasted eight whole nights. Hooray! So now, we light Channukias. This is what everyone is talking about when they accidentally call it a Menorah. It has one main candle in the middle called the shamash, and then eight other candles. Each night, we light the shamash and the same number of candles as number nights we are into Hanukkah. So on the first night we light the shamash and one other candle. The second night we light the shamash and two other candles, so on and so forth until we get to eight nights.

Third, despite it being so well known, Hanukkah isn’t actually all that among Jews. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an awesome holiday. Presents, fantastic food, chocolate coins, you really can’t go wrong with that. However, there’s a sort of hierarchy to Jewish holidays and Hannukah’s kinda at the bottom. Sorry, Hanukkah. There are actually three main Holidays: Shavuot, Rosh Hashanna, and Sukkot. Among Jews, those are the holidays with all the glory. Hanukkah isn’t as much of a thing. In fact, most Jewish holidays have restrictions on what you can and can’t do on those days. You can’t use electricity, drive, go to work, draw, play music, or do a whole bunch of other stuff. But Hanukkah is so unimportant that these restrictions don’t even apply. You can do what ever you want for Hanukkah, it’s not actually that big of a deal.

Finally, it’s NOT Christmas. Christmas is awesome. Who doesn’t love a good chestnut roasting on an open fire? But it’s not the same thing as Hanukkah. Hanukkah is it’s own unique thing with unique customs and foods. Furthermore, Christmas is not something that Jews necessarily celebrate. Lots of people are half Jewish and half Christian or in similar situations where both holidays are part of their religion or family or culture. But, for people like me, I’m just straight up Jewish. Christmas isn’t like Thanksgiving, which I do celebrate. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, a person that just isn’t part of the Jewish narrative. It’s a religious holiday that I don’t celebrate for the same reason that non-Jews don’t celebrate Hanukkah. Eggnog is pretty great though.

Well, I hope this helped explain some confusing parts of Hanukkah. Whatever you are (or aren’t!) celebrating this winter, I hope you have fun. This year has been crazy and the crazy remains for the Holidays too. Even still, enjoy the food, the music, and the break. Happy Hanukkah, Happy Quanza, Merry Christmas. Happy Anything, and stay warm!

Supporting Southside Raffle

Southside Bethlehem is full of independently owned restaurants that have supported Charter Arts for many years. Therefore, Charter Arts is giving back! The “Supporting Southside Raffle” is simple: Take a picture of yourself or your receipt from ANY locally owned Southside business like El Jefes, Dinky’s, and Lehigh Pizza (chain businesses such as Starbucks do not apply). Then, submit your pictures via Google Form which can be found on the grade level classroom pages, to be entered into a raffle. The more pictures you submit, the better the chance you have to win a $10 restaurant gift card!

The “Supporting Southside Raffle” contest will occur monthly, and this month’s feature restaurant and gift card giveaway will be Dinky’s, a locally owned business in Bethlehem that is a 50’s styled ice cream parlor and grill. They take pride in their family recipes, quality service, and truly appreciate our patronage.

Not only can you dine in, but they have made it easier than ever to enjoy lunch or dinner at the office or in the luxury of your own home. You can call in or order online for pickup and delivery. Delivery is provided by PlacePullDoorDash, or GrubHub.


In the past, restaurants in Bethlehem have supported ChArts by purchasing playbill ads, supporting our art and productions, as well as hosting music and literary arts events. This makes it even more important to give back to these restaurants during their time of need. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get out and support the locally owned Southside businesses!


Welcome to Dinky’s!

Gratitude Wednesday at Charter Arts

As Thanksgiving approaches, it can be easy to focus on the negative aspects of 2020, however, this holiday also calls on us to reflect on where we are as a community.

This year has been tough, but, there have been some gems amongst the darkness. The pandemic has compelled many of us to transform our daily routines; for some, that may have resulted in canceled plans, or dreams being put on hold. Nevertheless, we have risen to the occasion and found ways to make the most out of this new reality.

Instead of shutting down our hearts, we began to help one another through this difficult period. Though we may have had moments of weakness, we allowed the positives to overshadow the negatives, and as a school community, we have come together in many ways.

The Charter Arts student body, in conjunction with our Aevidum club created a wall of beauty where students and members of our faculty expressed gratitude and exchanged kind words with one another.

This project has not only given the students and our faculty hope for the future, but it has also acted as a reminder that we are all in this together.

I hope that seeing these messages from our students and faculty members inspire you to express gratitude and kindness. In a time of darkness, try to be a light. We all have it in us, don’t you think! Happy Thanksgiving!

“The Performer” Staff Curated Recipes: Thanksgiving!

Photo by Askar Abayev on

Thanksgiving this year will be quite different. However, one thing does not have to change. Cooking, food, and trying out new recipes! Here are seven tried and true recipes submitted right from The Performer‘s staff.

Ixe Peifly’s Frosted Apple Cake

Preheat the oven to 350o   



  •  2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of applesauce
  • 3/4 cups of vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons of apple juice



  • Sift dry ingredients into large bowl
  • Add applesauce, oil, and eggs
  • Beat on low until moistened
  • Beat batter on high for 2 min.
  • Pour into greased/floured 13×9 pan
  • Bake 35 minutes
  • Let cool


  • Heat butter in saucepan over medium, stirring continuously until lightly browned
  • Beat butter, powdered sugar, and 4 tablespoons of apple juice in a bowl
  • Add remaining juice, beat until creamy
  • Spread over cake

Mercedes Lobb’s Crockpot Yams

Ingredients Needed:

  • 2 cans of Bruce’s yams (Save the juice)
  • 1 bottle of syrup 
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon 
  • Marshmallows 


  • Add 2 cans of Bruce’s Yams to crockpot
  • Add 1 bottle of syrup
  • Add one-two cups of juice from the Yams can
  • Add tablespoon of cinnamon
  • Add tablespoon of brown sugar 
  • Mix together 
  • Add marshmallows on top 
  • Set crock pot to low heat 

Important Note: do not cook until 2 hours before your meal or the yams will be too mushy. 

Bayleigh Goff’s Cranberry Chutney (Sauce)

12 oz fresh cranberries

1 ¼ cups sugar

¾ cup of orange juice (OR water)

1 large apple, chopped (Granny Smith preferably)

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

¼ tsp ground cloves


  1. In a saucepan combine all ingredients, bring to a boil, stirring constantly. 
  2. Reduce heat, simmer 30-45 minutes, or until apple is tender and mixture thickens
  3. Cool completely!
  4. Store in the refrigerator. Serve over cream cheese with crackers as an appetizer, or on the thanksgiving table as cranberry sauce 
  5. Enjoy!

Sugared Pecans 

2 egg whites

1 tbsp of Vanilla 

1 lbs pecan halves

1 cup white sugar

½ tsp cinnamon (Or more, to taste)

¾ tsp salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Grease baking sheet
  2. In a bowl beat egg white and vanilla until frothy. In a separate bowl mix together sugar, salt, and cinnamon
  3. Add pecans to egg whites, stir to coat evenly. Remove the nuts, and toss them in the sugar mixture until coated. 
  4. Spread nuts out on the prepared baking sheet. 
  5. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Stir every 15 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

Rylie Barr: Pumpkin Roll

Mrs. Fowler’s Green Bean Casserole (Courtesy of Food Network)

For the topping:

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Nonstick cooking spray

For beans and sauce:

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup half-and-half

  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  2. Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
  3. While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.

Sammy Wendland’s Pork and Noodles.

1/2 lb.. ground beef, salt and pepper (for taste), 3-4 thinly sliced onions, 8 ounces of egg noodles, 1 can tomato sauce.

Instructions- put pork, salt, pepper and onions in a frying pan until brown and crumbly for about 30-45 minutes, then cook egg noodles with tomato sauce, then combine.

Zoe Lachter’s Apple Turkeys

Stuff you need-

  • A TON of toothpicks
  • An apple
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Regular marshmallows
  • Craisins
  1. Attach two mini marshmallows with toothpicks as legs
  2. Make a bunch of “feathers” by putting mini marshmallows and craisins on toothpicks top to bottom
  3. Stick the feathers in across the back in order to make the tail
  4. Attach a regular marshmallow with a toothpick as the head
  5. Use the tips of toothpicks to make a beak
  6. Use craisins for eyes and gobble

This concludes “The Performers” Thanksgiving Recipes for 2020! Enjoy these year safely, however that may look. Feel free to cook up any of these recipes, and send them to us to possibly be featured in a later article.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Performer Staff

Mental Health and the Holidays

How to deal with holiday stress: The psychology behind why family time can  turn adults into moody teens again

As the days go by, and the holiday season is approaching, some of you may be feeling the effects. The holidays always tend to be a stressful time, with gifts to buy, food to make, and family to meet; but this year might feel even more stressful with the pandemic disrupting celebrations and creating stress and anxiety.

If you feel that the holiday season is causing your mental health to diminish, here are five tips to help you overcome these challenges.

#1. You don’t have to force yourself to put on a happy face just because it’s the holidays. It is healthy to acknowledge your feelings instead of brushing them aside. When you ignore your troubles, they can pile up and have an even larger impact on your mental health. Instead of ignoring your emotions, you can tackle them head on by talking with a loved one, expressing yourself through your art, writing them down, or simply having a good cry. It’s okay to express your feelings and it will help you to feel better in the end.

#2. If you feel that there is too much happening at once, take a break. Taking a break to escape your stressors is not the end of the world. It will not ruin any of your plans and it is not going to burden your family. Your mental health should be your greatest priority, more important than gift buying, making holiday meals, interacting with family members, juggling school work, etc. All of these things may be important, but if you are in a poor mental state, you must take care of yourself before tackling other responsibilities. To take a break, remove yourself from the stressors in you life and spend some time alone or with friends and family if that is what you prefer, (covid safe of course). Other forms of self care include taking a shower/bath, going outside and getting fresh air, listening to music, sleeping, meditating, expressing yourself creatively, and more.

#3. Set boundaries and learn to say no. For those whose families choose to gather this year, seeing family members that you may not have seen for a while, can be stressful. Whether you have disagreements with them, have difficulty socializing, if they don’t accept your identity, or any other complications that could cause you anxiety, there needs to be boundaries, and you need to know that it is okay to say no to people. If a topic comes up that you are uncomfortable discussing, tell them that you are uncomfortable and change the subject, and if you can’t do that, then excuse yourself from the table for a bit. If you are asked to do something that you do not want to do, or that you are uncomfortable about for any reason, it is okay to say no. Your feelings are valid and should be respected, and your family members should understand that.

#4. Remember that your physical health is important too. Your physical health impacts your mental health, and if that is neglected, then your overall health will suffer. It is important to know that even though it is the holiday season and other people may not be following Covid-19 guidelines, exercising, and eating healthy, health is more important now than ever. In regards to staying safe during the pandemic over the holidays, make sure that you continue to wash your hands, wear a mask, practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings. As for the rest of your physical health, try to maintain healthy eating habits by making sure to include all of the food groups in your meals and avoiding large amounts of junk food. Do your best to create an exercise routine. You can engage in heavy exercise like weight lifting or lighter exercise like yoga or walking. Going outside and getting fresh air and vitamin D, as well as taking care of your personal hygiene, will have positive impacts on both your physical and mental health.  

#5. Be realistic about spending money and other expectations during this season. While it does feel good to give the “best” gifts and make the “best” food and make everyone happy during the holidays, these goals are not always realistic, and that is okay. Instead of overwhelming yourself with money to spend and time spent making the holidays “perfect” this year, take it one step at a time. If you choose to buy gifts for others, set a budget instead of using all of your funds. If you are making food for gatherings, don’t overload yourself with a bunch of brand new recipes you found, stick with something that you know is obtainable and is easy enough that you won’t have to worry about having to redo it. Keep it simple this holiday season, but enjoy the time that you spend with your friends and family, whether you are gathering in person or remotely.

Throughout the holiday season, keep these tips in mind and take time to prioritize your mental health. Have a happy holiday season, and even if this year may look a little different, remember to enjoy it as best you can!