THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – Dutch YouTube celebrity Nikkie de Jager, whose makeup advice channel NikkieTutorials has millions of followers around the world, has come out as transgender, saying she took the decision to share her story after being blackmailed.
â€œWhen I was younger I was born in the wrong body which means that I am transgender,” she said. By Tuesday afternoon, the video posted late Monday had been viewed more than 16.5 million times.
â€œOh my God, this feels so liberating, you have no idea,â€ she said in the video. â€œFor 11 years that Iâ€™ve had my channel this has been with me, and I always wanted to share this with you, but I cannot believe that after today the world will know.â€
De Jager said she’d always planned to share the information with her followers, but never found the right time. In the end, blackmailers forced her hand.
â€œI have been blackmailed by people that wanted to leak my story to the press, and at first it was frightening,â€ she said. â€œIt was frightening to know that there are people out there that are so evil that they canâ€™t respect someoneâ€™s true identity. It is vile and it is gross.â€
In the video, she revealed that she had always felt like a girl, began wearing dresses when she was age 7 or 8, and started taking hormones at around age 14. By 19-years-old, she said she had made the â€œfull transitionâ€ to being a woman, she said.
â€œTodayâ€™s the day. I am free and I get to be me, finally,” she said. â€œPlease know that this doesnâ€™t change anything about me.â€
In a post on Instagram Tuesday, she thanked her followers for the “incredible amount of love and supportâ€ she had received since posting the video.