Transgender influencer NikkieTutorials blackmailed into coming out

Dutch YouTube star NikkieTutorials came out as transgender in a video posted on Monday. She said that she always wanted to share her story, but under her own circumstances, and she did not expect to do so this week. But people have been blackmailing her and threatening to leak her story in the press, she said, calling their actions "vile" and "gross". 

"Today I am taking back my own power," Nikkie de Jager said in her 17 minute long video. "It is a brand new year. It is 2020 and I want to start the year off with the truth (...) I was born in the wrong body. Which means that I am transgender." She said that filming the video was scary. "But it feels so liberating and freeing."

She hopes that her story will inspire "little Nikkies around the world. Who feel insecure. Who feel out of place. Who feel misunderstood," Nikkie said. "Just like me, you get to write your own story. Live your life. Live it without any restrictions. You can be you. You are in charge of how you want to live your life."

Nikkie knew that she was a girl since the day she was born, she said. At age six she grew her hair out, she switched to girls clothes only by age seven or eight. When she was 14 she started taking hormones. "And by the time I was 19, I fully transitioned."

The most important thing Nikkie wants her viewers to take away from this is: "I am me. I am still Nikkie. Nothing changes about that. The last thing I want in my life, is for you to not trust me anymore, or for you to look at me with different eyes, or look at me in a different manner, or think that I have changed," she said. "Please know that this doesn't change anything about me. My love for makeup has always been real. I have always been real."

With 12.5 million subscribers, Nikkie is one of the most successful Dutch YouTubers. Her channel focuses on makeup and makeup tutorials and she has followers from al over the world. She's collaborated with celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, according to NOS. 

Brand Berghouwer, chairman of Transgender Netwerk Nederland, told NOS that Nikkie coming out can be great support for young people currently struggling with their identity. It is also important for emancipation that well-known transgender people speak out, he said. "The more people who come out of the closet as trans, the more normal it becomes."