YouTube star NikkieTutorials has revealed she’s a transgender woman.
In an emotional video shared on her channel Monday, the 25-year-old beauty personality, whose real name is Nikkie de Jager, came out after she was allegedly "blackmailed" with threats of outing her.
"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," Nikkie began in the 17-minute clip. "So today, I am taking back my own power and I have to tell you something."
"Planet Earth is full of labels, and I never felt comfortable with labels. I wanted to be my own person, my own identity, my own human being without any rules, without any labels, without any restrictions," she continued, adding that she wants "to start the year off with the truth."
"I can’t believe I’m saying this today. To all of you, for the entire world to see, but damn, it feels good to finally do it. It’s time to let go and be truly free," Nikkie expressed. "When I was younger, I was born in the wrong body, which means that I am transgender. It’s so surreal saying this. Filming this video is scary, but it feels so liberating and freeing. I’ve been wanting to share this side of myself to all of you for so long but I could never figure out the timing."
The vlogger, who has 12.4 million YouTube subscribers, revealed the reason she decided to come out today was due to a group of people who allegedly threatened to "leak" her story.
"Apparently we live in a world where other people hate on people who are truly themselves," Nikkie explained. "I have been blackmailed by people who wanted to leak my story to the press. At first, it was frightening. It was frightening to know there were people out there that are so evil that they can’t respect someone’s true identity."
"It is vile and it is gross," she said. "They said they wanted to leak it because they said I am lying or I don’t want people to know my truth. Or because they feel I am too scared to know who I truly am. I’m not scared."
While she never called out the alleged blackmailers by name, Nikkie sent them a message by flipping off the camera. "This ones for you," she said. "I hope you can sit nice on it."
Earlier in the video, Nikkie touched upon her transition story, revealing that she started identifying as a girl at age six and began taking hormones at 14. According to Nikkie, who has had her channel for 11 years, she "fully transitioned" when she was 19.
"Growing up, I think the hardest part was meeting new people and getting close to them and telling them a side to your life that you don’t even want to talk about because you hate that part of your life," she recalled of her childhood.
While the video as a whole was moving, the beauty guru became particularly emotional while talking about some important people in her life: her mom and her fiance, Dylan.
"Growing up, I think the number one thing I’m the most thankful for is my mom… love you, Mom," she said. "She has been there for me since day one."
Similarily, Nikkie had nothing but good things to say about her fiance.
"I wait [to] tell my full story until I know I’m in good hands, because people out there are scary and dangerous. So, Dylan and I, we clicked and he didn’t know. He knows now. Dylan knows about my past, but I wish I told him sooner," she recalled, adding that she waited because she was "afraid to lose him." "Everything felt so magical, so good, that I was afraid to lose him if I would tell my full story. And at the point where I told him my full story, of course he was shocked."
"I’ve never met anyone like him. He is truly the most kind-hearted man in my life ever. Our relationship moved so fast," she continued. "I truly hope that people there, who are watching this, respect our relationship… that we can handle it privately."
Nikkie also expressed that she hopes she can inspire others by telling her story.
"You can be you," she said. "You are in charge of how you want to live your life. I am here to openly share that I am transgender, and with this message, I want to inspire little Nikkie’s around the world, who feel insecure, who feel out of place, who are misunderstood. I hope by me standing up and being free, that it inspired others to do the same."
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