The 25-year-old, whose real name is Nikkie de Jager, shocked the internet when she revealed to her more than 25 million combined social media followers that she was “born in the wrong body.” During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday, she explained more about what that really meant and how her mom was a vital part of her transition.
“I just always was so confused. I was like, why do I have to wear that? Or why don’t I have long hair? And I’m really grateful,” de Jager said of the start of her transition at just 6 years old. “My mom is a queen, Mama Tutorials is a queen. Even when we went to the hospital to see what was going on, doctors were like, ‘Just don’t, don’t push it too far. Let’s see where it goes.’ But then I came home, and I was like, ‘Mom I really wanna wear girl clothes.’ And she was like, ‘If you wanna wear girl clothes, you’re gonna wear ‘em.’ Even though doctors were like, you might wanna wait with that a bit.”
The support that the Netherlands native got from her mom is something that she recognized as rare, pointing out that it’s just part of the reason why she comes from a place of privilege compared to other transgender women.
“I have privilege, you know. I started [transitioning] when I was really young, I pass, I am blonde ... I look cis,” de Jager explained.
Despite all that, however, the process of transitioning, and more recently coming out, wasn’t easy for the beauty guru — especially with millions of followers looking up to her, and even a man who had blackmailed her to share her truth.
During both her “I Am Coming Out” video and her Ellen appearance, de Jager explained that the opportunity to come out on her own terms was something that was taken away from her when an unnamed person threatened to go to the press with the information.
“A couple of weeks ago, I got emails from a certain person and he was not OK with the fact that I was ‘lying’ and wanted to expose that,” she told DeGeneres. “I feel like his entire goal was, with this, to destroy my life. But plot twist, that didn’t happen.”
Instead, de Jager responded to the threats by opening up to the world in a video on her popular YouTube channel, where it’s been viewed over 32 million times. And although she clarified that she is “not thankful” to that person for pressuring her to come out, de Jager explained to DeGeneres that the threat finally gave her a reason to speak openly.
“I always wanted to come out with it but it is such a delicate thing that, how do you find the timing? There’s never the perfect timing,” she went on. “I am thankful that it happened now and now I get to be free.”
Although de Jager assured her followers in her coming out video that she is still the same Nikkie, she admitted to DeGeneres that she has yet to figure out where she fits in as a transgender woman, and what obstacles she still has to overcome.
“It’s only been a week, I don’t know where this is gonna go, I don’t know where I fit in in this magical world,” she said. “But as long as I get to be myself and inspire little Nikkies to be theirselves, that’s all I can do.”
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