Nikita Dragun is entering a new era.
The trans YouTube star has returned from a social media hiatus with a new vlog revealing she has experienced a “rebirth”.
While the majority of the vlog focuses on Nikita’s experience at New York Fashion Week, intimate clips throughout the vlog show Nikita crying about her controversial public image and apologising to her audience over the years.
“I just felt like I kept being painted out as like, the bad guy, you know,” Nikita says in footage from 2019. “When everyone is just saying so much about you that’s like not true on top of like all the stress [of] what’s happening in your life, it’s just like, am I really that awful of a person?” Nikita also revealed in the same clip that she was attempting to get sober from “everything” after hitting “rock bottom”.
The video jumps to vlog footage of Nikita in 2021. “I apologise, I’m sorry and I’m just going to ask for forgiveness because this is so dramatic,” she says. Though it’s unclear what Nikita is apologising for, it’s likely related to her latest controversy which led the influencer to take several weeks off from social media.
In late September, Nikita dropped a music video for her new song, ‘DICK’. The video faced intense backlash for several reasons— the first being that the 25-year-old released it alongside a declaration that she is the “first trans popstar”.
Many felt this statement was disrespectful to the artists that helped pave the way for trans entertainers in mainstream media, like Kim Petras and SOPHIE.
The video itself drew criticism as well for stamping the word “DICK” on the faces of several late trans icons including Marsha P. Johnson and SOPHIE.
Nikita also included images of influencer Harry Jowsey and her ex-boyfriend, Michael Yerger, as well as a screenshot of an alleged DM conversation with rapper Tyga throughout the music video. The implication seemed to be that these people either wanted to have sex with Nikita or have had sex with Nikita.
Tyga responded to Nikita using his “likeness” in the video, tweeting, “My company show and directed a music video for her a while back that never dropped. Not sure why she added my likeness to this.”
He finished with, “Ladies and gentlemen clout kills”.
The star’s redemption vlog ends with a shot of Nikita modeling a dress inspired Le Heretic’s artwork ‘Hermaphordite’.
“This dress is inspired by my journey and growth as a trans woman. It also represents the dynamism of my community,” the end slide reads. “Here, we fused two works of sculpted art to showcase the beauty of the human body, no matter the gender identity. I am proud to be a trans woman and to wear a dress that so boldly shows my personal journey & I’m thankful to have collaborated with Sergio Pena on this look.”
The video closes with a tribute to late trans performer Venus Xtravaganza.
Though some fans are excited about Nikita’s return to social media, others feel the vlog’s title, ‘RIP Nikita Dragun’, is exploitative given the high rates of violence against trans women— particularly Black trans women— and high mortality rates of trans people in America.
Nikita has not addressed this accusation at the time of publication. But given Nikita’s history of courting controversy in the pursuit of relevancy, we assume the public fodder is all part of her PR strategy.