YouTube personality and former Celebrity Big Brother contestant Trisha Paytas has made $8,000 in ad revenue following a video announcement last month where she "came out" as a transgender gay man.
In October, Paytas released a video on her YouTube channel titled "I AM TRANSGENDER (FEMALE TO MALE)." In it, she said that she identified as a trans man because she "doesn't like to wear makeup" or do her hair in her "day to day life."
"I'm transgender because I don't like to wear makeup or do my hair in my day-to-day life, unless I'm doing drag," the content creator said. At the end, she said she is "one thousand percent," a trans man but identify with her "natural born gender."
"So do I think I'm transgender? Yes, one thousand percent," she said. "Do I identify with my natural born gender? A thousand percent. So I think that's where I'm at and I feel really free and liberated." Paytas also said that she would continue to use she/her pronouns as she's "not a fan" of gender-neutral pronouns.
The video received massive backlash. Of the critiques, many, like fellow creator Patrick Starr, said that the stunt reduced transgender folks to a form of costume. Others said that Paytas was exploiting the community for money since her account is monetized and receives ads.
Paytas denied the latter accusations in an interview with The Doctors last month saying that "the thing is those videos get demonetized now on social media," and that "you don't make money off of those videos. Anything LGBTQ+ related, mental disorders, you can't make money." The Youtube star went on to say that "everyone just discrediting me for thinking that I would use something so serious because my audience is all LGBTQ+ people" offended her "more than anything."
In a 19-minute apology video following the backlash, Paytas admitted to trolling people "in the past" and saying "stuff that I don't mean or I don't stand by," She also apologized for "offending people with my language and the way I said things" explaining that she's "so new to all of this." Paytas then maintained that she was a transgender man saying that she feels "like a prisoner in my own body and I always have."
"This is something that I have just felt since I was five, six, seven... As a child I hated my breasts. I hated my vagina... I hated going into the female bathroom," she said. "I hated being classified as female. I hated being told to play with, like, Barbies and stuff like that."
She continued: "I can't apologize for who I am and how I feel and it sucks that we live in this world and I'm just not allowed to identify as a man because of how I look... I dress up in wigs and makeup, but I'm still a boy too... It's triggering. It's PTSD of when I said that I was, like, bisexual. I have come out as gay before too, as lesbian, I thought I was, you know? I'm so scared."
Now, the truth about the money is coming out.
In an interview with H3 Podcast this week, Paytas was confronted about monetizing the video by host Ethan Klein. In footage, she repeatedly deny making any money from the clip. She goes so far as to try to prove that she hasn't made any money.
On camera, Paytas downloads the YouTube Creator Studio app on her phone in order to present her evidence. To her "surprise," the video which has been viewed 3.6 million times, has raked in some $8,000 in advertisements to her account.
"Now that you've made $8,000 off this video, how do you feel?" Ethan asked.
"I mean, it's fine," Paytas replied.
"I just think it kind of undermines that whole argument that you're doing this just to tell your story, but clearly you made $8,000 from it," argued Ethan. Followers on social media have critiqued the move.
"Trisha Paytas made $8,000 dollars on that video essentially mocking trans people. I need $8,000 for my top surgery. Disgusting behaviour and profits from it," one tweet read.
"So Trisha Paytas lied and actually made $8000 off her transgender video even though she said she didn't monetise it," another user noted.
RELATED | Social Media Account Lied For Years, Posed as Black Woman