YouTube beauty vlogger Nikkie de Jager, best known as NikkieTutorials, was forced to come out to her 12.7 million subscribers this week after blackmailers threatened to reveal her trans status, she said.
The 17-minute Jan. 13 video, simply titled "I'm Coming Out," constitutes an emotional roller coaster as Nikkie talks candidly about her childhood sense of being female, her ultra-supportive mother and her teenage transition. Throughout, she expresses her nervousness about coming out, her joy at finally doing so and, most of all, her newfound feeling of liberation.
Toward the end of the video, she addresses the blackmail. "I've always wanted to share this side of myself with you. I just wanted to do it under my conditions," she explains. "But... I have been blackmailed by people who wanted to leak my story to the press. At first it was frightening... It is vile and it is gross... They said they wanted to leak it because I'm lying or that I don't want to tell my truth, or because they feel like I'm too scared for people to know who I truly am. I'm not scared."
At press time, the video has received 17 million views in 20 hours, with fans overwhelmingly expressing love and support. @DyedLittlePrincess said, "I cried so much watching this. I’m so sorry your choice to announce this to the world was taken from you but you are such an incredibly strong, beautiful and inspirational woman. We love you endlessly." @TinyKraken posted, "2014: I love this goddess and everything she does. 2020: I love this goddess and everything she does." After the video posted, the number of subscribers on the NikkieTutorials page increased.
In the short clip, Nikkie—who has previously collaborated with the likes of Marc Jacobs Beauty, Sephora and Maybelline—succeeded in succinctly encapsulating both the difficulties trans people can face in their personal lives (she notes that she did not tell her fiancé sooner because she feared losing him), and the beauty and grace that accompanies outwardly becoming your authentic self. (By the end of the clip, Nikkie is laughing infectiously and singing Kesha's "Woman.")