NikkieTutorials Says Her Traumatic Coming Out Experience Gave Her PTSD

Earlier in the year, makeup tutorial YouTuber and versatile eyeshadow queen Nikkie ‘NikkieTutorials’ de Jager came out as a transwoman. And in the following days after her announcement and in all the months since, the LGBTQIA+ community has welcomed her with open arms.

But, as she mentioned in the video, while she was happy and proud to come out, it sadly wasn’t her decision to do so at that point in time. That part of her identity was something she always wanted to share with the world and under her own circumstances, but the opportunity to do it at her own pace was taken away from her. People who knew her then private identity threatened to take the news to the press, and she was forced to publicly come out. 

All in all, it’s some pretty nasty stuff and a big no no in the queer community. It’s a widely known fact that you never out another person. Whether someone comes out is up to the individual, it’s an incredibly personal experience and no one experience or coming out journey is the same.

So, understandably, having that taken away from her and being literally blackmailed has been a pretty traumatic experience for her. So much so in fact, that, according to a conversation with Danish publication &C, she’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

What did Nikkietutorials say?

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happy #transdayofvisibility 💙💖 2020 completely changed my life, and at times it got really, really dark… but looking back now, I’ve never felt so free. on the left is the day we left my dead-name in the past and I reintroduced myself to my classmates as Nikkie. it was the first day I wore a girly outfit and had my hair in braids. I remember feeling so terrified but strong at the same time… I wish I could hug that girl, look her straight into her eyes and tell her: “you’re doing exactly what you need to be doing. hold on queen!” 😢🥺 on the right is me yesterday.. a strong woman who sometimes still is scared of the world but knows she has the most amazing support system behind her 🥰

A post shared by NikkieTutorials (@nikkietutorials) on

Since being forced to come out, the Dutch makeup artist admits that it hasn’t been easy and “it depends on how [she] wakes up.” One day she’s feeling insecure and doesn’t dare to face the world, on others she thinks, “fuck it.” 

“I went to the doctor because I have trouble sleeping,” she said. “You have a post-traumatic stress disorder,’ he concluded. ‘Well, well, we shouldn’t make it bigger that it is,’ I said. But still: all my symptoms indicate towards PTSD.”

“All I can do is give myself time to give it a place, he said. So I try that, although it is still difficult at times.”

Currently, de Jager admits she doesn’t talk to a therapist but does talk a lot with her mother, her fiance Dylan and manager.

“I have to, because when I start bottling everything up, it’s the end of it. I also find it difficult that every news item is opened with: ‘She recently came out as transgender.’ Or people who say something about it on the streets. Very sweet and they mean well, but that keeps reminding me.”

In the same interview, de Jager also explained that she was mistreated during her appearance on The Ellen Show, and that she was to host Eurovision this year, before the camp musical Hunger Games extravaganza was cancelled

What Is PTSD?

According to Beyond Blue, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is “a particular set of reactions that can develop in people who have been through a traumatic event which threatened their life or safety, or that of others around them.” 

Some of those traumatic events can include, but aren’t limited to, a serious accident; physical or sexual assault; war or torture; or natural disasters. A person who undergoes these traumatic moments in their lives may “experience feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror.”

“So before my coming out, everybody could say whatever about me,” the makeup queen added. “I didn’t care. But it has been different since I came out.”

“The response has been very positive, but it is still a bit scary. How do people react outside? What kind of jokes will they make? I am used to being criticized about how I look. But criticizing who I am is much more personal. When I see comments from some people on social media, I sometimes think: God, you are so mean. But in the end I can laugh about it.”

If you or anyone you know is feeling distressed or has experienced a traumatic event, know that there are people who are ready and willing to listen. Contact Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800) or QLife (1800 184 527). If you feel your life is in danger or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please talk to the folks at Lifeline (13 11 14), 1800Respect (1800 737 732) or 000.

Julian Rizzo-Smith is a writer and producer. He also claims to be a vine historian, avid connoisseur of low-fi beats, indie hip hop and Kermit memes. In a perfect world, he’d be married to Tyler the Creator, own an Arcanine and a Lapras, and don his own Sailor Scouts uniform. He tweets @GayWeebDisaster, which is also, coincidentally, how one might describe him.

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