NikkieTutorials’ recent announcement is cause for celebration, but the reason she had to do it is not okay.
After 11 years of making videos on her NikkieTutorials YouTube channel, Dutch beauty vlogger Nikkie de Jager did something inspiring. On Monday, she announced to her 12 million subscribers that she is a transgender woman.
The 25-year-old YouTube star spoke about the fact that she “transitioned while on YouTube”, but never felt comfortable with labels. She says that although she had wanted to talk about this part of her identity for a while, she also wanted to live free of the rules and restrictions labels can bring. Before this week, she hadn’t found the right time to share her truth with her fans.
As one of the most well-established names in YouTube’s beauty community, Nikkie’s announcement made waves, and there was an outpouring of love and support across social media platforms. Fellow LGBTQ+ vloggers including James Charles and Nikita Dragun tweeted messages of love, and celebs such as Ariana Grande and Kesha also weighed in. Nikkie’s Instagram post to promote the video has well over a million likes, and a tweet she sent out with the hashtag #IAmMe has so far clocked in at over 400,000 likes.
While the love she’s received is not only heart-warming but also an encouraging sign that society is edging towards acceptance, the reason she had to make the video is not okay. Towards the end of her 17-minute-long video, she speaks out about the fact that while she has always wanted to share her story, the decision on when she would come out was taken away from her.
Nikkie very calmly but angrily explains that she was blackmailed by people threatening to leak her story to the press. She says that these people accused her of “lying” and being “too scared” for people to know that she is trans. But there is no reason for a person to feel entitled to that sort of personal information about someone.
The threat of outing someone can take away a person’s right to live life on their own terms, as well as their sense of security. Online harassment and abuse of transgender people has been on the increase in recent years, and it has been especially prevalent on YouTube. With Nikkie’s high profile, being outed could potentially have put her in the firing line and taken away her control over the narrative being circulated.
But as the boss lady that she is, Nikkie refused to be intimidated. In a move that she described as “taking back my own power”, she came out on her terms and made it clear that she is “still Nikkie, and nothing changes about that”.
Putting her perfectly manicured middle finger up to her attempted blackmailers – a sentiment we very much want to echo – she told her followers “today’s the day, I am free”. We couldn’t be prouder.