On Wednesday, the social media star — who has 13.1 million subscribers on YouTube and 13.6 million followers on Instagram — appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show, where she reflected on why she decided to go public with her private battle and said she hopes her story will inspire others.
“A couple of weeks ago, I got emails from a certain person and he was not okay with the fact that I was [in air quotes] lying and wanted to expose that,” the Netherlands native told DeGeneres, 61. “He had a very pressuring tone of voice and he was like, ‘If we don’t get an answer by tomorrow, it’s out.’ And I feel like his entire goal with this was to destroy my life. But plot twist, that didn’t happen.”
“No it did not,” the talk show host said. “So the response has been fantastic, I know… good for you.”
de Jager agreed, adding that the amount of support she’s from fans and followers has been “unreal.” And although she did not disclose her transgender identity at the beginning of their relationship, the YouTuber star said her fiancé Dylan was actually the person who encouraged her to post the video.
“He was like, ‘You can do it’,” de Jager said of her future husband, who proposed during a trip to Italy over the summer. “He was like, ‘We’re going to get through this, you’re going to be okay, you’re going to do this’.”
DeGeneres then asked de Jager when she fist realized she was “in the wrong body.” To which the beauty guru replied that she was “just always so confused,” adding that her mom was supportive and allowed her to express her female identity at a young age: “I’m really grateful because I know that’s not the case for everybody out there,” she said.
de Jager told DeGenres that she planned to share her truth eventually, but wasn’t sure if the right time to address such a “delicate” matter would come.
“In a way…I am thankful that it happened now,” she explained. “Now I get to be free.”
“I want to take this opportunity to hopefully inspire a lot of transgender people out there,” the YouTuber continued. “Even when you’re starting later on in your journey, we need to accept that…As long as I get to be myself and inspire little Nikkie’s to be [themselves], that’s all I can do.”
de Jager thanked DeGenres for allowing her to share her story. And at the end of the segment, the talk show host announced that Shutterfly made a $10,000 donation to The Trevor Project (a non-profit that provides resources to LGBTQ+ youth) on de Jager’s behalf.
On Jan. 13, the Internet celebrity released her video, simply titled, “I’m coming out.” It’s since been viewed over 31 million times and has received nearly 350,000 comments.
“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,” she said at the beginning of the clip. “And it looks like that chance has been taken away from me. So today I am taking back my own power.”
“I want 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. 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.”
“When I was younger, I was born in the wrong body which means that I am transgender. Now, so surreal saying this. Filming this video is scary but it feels so liberating and freeing,” de Jager said.
“I am NikkieTutorials and I am Nikkie,” she continued. “I am me. We don’t need labels. If we are going to put a label on it, yes, I am transgender. But at the end of the day, I am me. And at the end of the day, you are you.”
In the video, de Jager touched on her relationship with fiancé, Dylan telling fans that she “wished she told him sooner” but that they are handling matters privately. She also shared that she was being blackmailed by people who wanted to leak her secret to the press. She boldly raised her middle finger towards them, quipping “I hope you sit nice on it!”
She concluded by thanking a few important people, including her millions of followers, her family and her fiancé.