Claire Kittrell, formerly known as Michael, announced her transition in a YouTube video.

By Naja Rayne
Updated August 02, 2016 11:55 PM
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Credit: YouTube

The YouTube star whose “Gingers Do Have Souls” video went viral in 2010, has come out as transgender.

Claire Kittrell – formerly Michael Kittrell – shared a video on Tuesday explaining that her five-month hiatus from the video hosting site was because she began her transition and was undergoing hormone replacement therapy.

“I’m not going to live another year of my life pretending to be someone else. I’m just not going to do it,” she said in the emotional post. “I know a lot of you are going to make fun of me. I know a lot of you are going to think that I’m joking. This is the hardest video I’ve ever made, because I’m not.”

Kittrell, 23, continued, explaining that while she was picked on in school for being a red head, she was also picked on for being different from other boys at the “conservative” high school she attended.

The Hollywood Hillbillies star added that she was “more feminine than the other guys,” and didn’t play sports or hang out with anyone, specifically girls after school, as she was “very lonely” and only had on friend outside of the Internet.

Kittrell added that she waited to come out for fear of being attacked on the Internet, but was encouraged by Caitlyn Jenner’s public transition.

“I’m not going to pretend to be someone else anymore. Not in front of the camera and not behind one,” she added. “It may seem cliché, but Caitlyn Jenner helped me out a lot. I know that she gets a lot of flack because she is a lady of means. She has a lot of money and not every trans person can look like her because she’s able to afford surgery.”

Although Kittrell admits to being unable to afford surgery at the moment, she said she’ll be happy as long as she’s able to come to accept herself.