Popular YouTuber surprises fans by coming out as transgender
A popular YouTuber has surprised her followers by coming out as transgender.
Ellen Stephenson, a 20-year-old creator from Brighton, UK, had gained more than 3,000 subscribers from her charming videos.
But while she began socially transitioning at home at the age of 11, Ellen was not open about her gender identity online – until now.
Ellen told PinkNews that being openly trans at home for so long while not out online was a “Hannah Montana situation.”
She explained: “I started living my life inside the house as a girl [while still presenting as male to the outside world]”.
The announcement, released on her channel, was a shock for some of her fans.
Ellen said she originally didn’t have any plans to come out when starting on YouTube.
“I had no intention of doing it at all,” she said.
“It got to the point where I didn’t even share my name online because I was so afraid of people who used to know me.
“I didn’t share it on any of my social media, I just wanted to start my channel on the low-down.”
She admitted that it wasn’t until last year that she considered coming out, due to her gaining an unprecedented LGBT+ audience.
“It’s a big commitment, especially online,” she said.
“Once you come out, there’s no going back.”
Over the past year, Ellen said she gained a “f*** it” mentality, deciding to come out in a video she posted two weeks ago.
She said that being visible for other young trans people is important to her, saying: “If I’d had the internet back when I was younger […] it would’ve made a huge difference.”
Ellen said that even if she ended up regretting coming out publicly, it would be worth it to know that her openness could have potentially helped even just one young trans person to see that it’s “not all doom and gloom”.
“You can have a life aside from just being a trans person.”
When asked about people’s reactions online to her coming out, Ellen smiled as she spoke about the mostly positive responses she’s had.
“99 percent of the comments have been so loving.
“A lot of people were like: ‘Oh, I had no idea!’
“And I have had some parents come to me and say: “I watched this with my child and they really really enjoyed this, I’m grateful that there is someone online [that they can look up to].”
Ellen said she’s been a little overwhelmed since coming out online, because she doesn’t know where to go from here.
But she also said that she thinks it’s “a normal human thing, a 20-year-old figuring out what they want to do – nothing new!”
She added that it feels like there’s “a weight lifted off her shoulders” now that she no longer has to worry about being outed online.
“It definitely allows me to be a lot freer.”
Ellen’s channel has been focused on comedy in recent years, but originally began as a way for her to push herself and expand her horizons after having surgery in Thailand a few years ago.
She said that the regular schedule and discipline helped her and allowed new excitement into her life.
Then, a growing number of comments and supporters encouraged her to branch out and start making content she was passionate about.
For anyone thinking of coming out, Ellen had some advice.
“This is your life and you’re building it,” she said.
“If you know that you’re trans but you don’t know where you’re going to fit in the world, you shouldn’t be expected to know, especially as young people.
“You’ve just got to figure it out for yourself and let people know that you’re figuring it out – and it’s okay for them to figure it out with you.”
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Ellen went on to talk about Mermaids UK, a support group for trans and gender non-conforming children and their families.
“It’s hard for me to put into words how highly I think of Mermaids – the work they do is vital; it’s so necessary,” she said.
“My story wouldn’t be a story if it weren’t for Mermaids.
“My parents found out how they could treat their child through Mermaids – if they hadn’t, then they wouldn’t have known how to deal with me and I don’t know if I’d be here today.”
Check out Ellen’s inspiring coming out video below: