Nikkie de Jager, better known as NikkieTutorials, has come out as a transgender woman.
If you’ve never heard of NikkieTutorials, chances are your children have. She’s a YouTuber, makeup artist, and influencer specializing in makeup and beauty tips. The 25-year-old posted a video on Monday titled “I’m Coming Out,” surprising her millions of YouTube subscribers who assumed she was a cisgender woman.
“Today I am here to share something with you that I’ve always wanted to share with you one day, but under my own circumstances, and it looks like that chance has been taken away from me,” she said at the beginning of the 17-minute video. “So today, I am taking back my own power and I have to tell you something.”
She takes a moment to set the stage of this being a new year and a time of new beginnings, and says it: “I was born in the wrong body, which means I am transgender.”
Nikkie goes on to tell her story, explaining how she knew she was female from a very young age. She recounts only wearing girls’ clothes by ages seven or eight, finally taking hormone therapy and growth stoppers in her teens. She fully transitioned at age 19.
Why the Big Reveal?
Nikkie’s introduction hinted that something was going on behind-the-scenes to motivate the creation of this video, and that something was blackmail.
“I have been blackmailed by people that wanted to leak my story to the press,” she said. “At first it was frightening, it was frightening to know that there are people out there that are so evil that they can’t respect someone’s true identity. It is vile and it gross … They said they wanted to leak it because I’m lying or that I don’t want to tell my truth or that I’m too scared to tell people who I truly am. I’m not scared.”
“So to the people who tried to blackmail me, and thought they could really mess up my life with that, this one’s for you.” And with that, she flips them the bird. “I hope you can sit nice on it.”
While this might seem like a strange motivation for blackmail, the larger concept is quite common. As Vox.com noted, “The mentality of Nikkie’s blackmailer fits a larger pattern of anti-trans behavior and myths about how trans men and women want to ‘trick’ people regarding their gender. These myths and stereotypes help to fuel the discrimination and violence that trans people often face.”
Nevertheless, Nikkie makes it clear that this event has been liberating, she’s hoping “to inspire little Nikkies around the world,” and that she is the same person she was all along.
So far, the public response has been positive. While LGBT publications The Advocate and Out haven’t weighed in about the story yet, many celebrities have. Entertainment Weekly noted that names such as Ariana Grande, Lena Dunham, Amber Rose, Whitney Cummings, Tess Holliday, and Maddie Ziegler have all publicly sent out support.
Nikkie’s fans also seem to be staying onboard. When the coming out video premiered, she was reported to have more than 12 million YouTube followers. As of this writing, she’s listed as having 12.8 million. Watch her coming out video below.