Nikkie de Jager, who is known by her username, NikkieTutorials, came out as transgender in a heartfelt video she shared with fans on Monday.
The beauty influencer, who is known for videos about everything from drugstore makeup tutorials to teaching fans how to re-create looks worn by Lady Gaga, has more than 12.5 million subscribers on YouTube. By Monday evening, her coming out video was the top trending video on YouTube and had been viewed more than 1.4 million times.
"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,” said de Jager, who is Dutch. "And it looks like that chance has been taken away from me. So today I am taking back my own power."
The 25-year-old said she wanted to "start the year off with the truth."
"I want to start the year off by finally revealing a part of my life that has made me who I am. I want to talk about a part of myself that makes me, me," she said.
De Jager revealed that she felt pressure to speak out now because she was being blackmailed by people who threatened to leak her story to the press.
"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," she said.
The YouTube star said she always knew she was born in the wrong body. Even her mother, who owns a Dutch beauty brand, always believed she was having a girl while she was pregnant with Nikkie.
While de Jager said she was supported by her teachers growing up, she often felt "trapped" and "angry" when her peers didn't understand what she was going through.
“Yes, I got fully transitioned. By the time I was 14, I got my hormones because I’m a tall witch and I kept on growing," she said. She transitioned by the time she was 19 — and was posting videos throughout her transition on YouTube, she added. De Jager noted that the reason she didn't share her story with her fans earlier, because she wanted her channel to focus on her artistry.
The star has also been open about her relationship with her fiancé, Dylan, who proposed to her over the summer. She said she "wished she told him sooner," but that they were discussing the matter privately.
"At the end of the day, my story is beautiful," de Jager said. "I’m proud of my story. No more holding back. No more secrets."