Internet personality Taylor Caniff is facing backlash for transphobic comments he made about beauty guru Nikita Dragun.
In a series of Instagram stories posted to his close friends’ list, the former Viner-turned-YouTube creator told followers he saw Nikita grabbing food with a male friend and mocked the man for “hooking up with a guy.” Taylor proceeded to tell the security guard at the venue that Nikita is a “dude.”
Taylor’s stories were screen-recorded and sent around the internet, landing in Nikita’s inbox. The influencer and beauty brand founder has since responded to Taylor’s transphobic remarks in an IGTV posted hours ago.
“This is what it’s like to be trans,” she starts, tearfully. “My livelihood is constantly threatened by just living my life as a trans person and I’m so embarrassed to even be showing this video, but it’s reality.”
Nikita emphasises that it’s this kind of bigotry and hate that turns into violence against the trans community. “This is how trans people die,” she says.
The social media star goes on to say she fears for her friends being seen with her as trans hate threatens their lives as well.
“People lose their lives, or even worse, people take their own lives,” she finishes.
Taylor responded to Nikita’s IGTV in an Instagram live claiming he trying to make a “joke” to the 140 people on his close friends’ list. He went on to imply that Nikita has “traumatised” men by hooking up with them without disclosing that she is transgender. Taylor then claimed he is “bisexual” and that Nikita is transgender for clout.
“This man is on his live saying I’m doing this for clout and he’s bisexual… sir u haven’t been relevant since Magcon,” Nikita tweeted at Taylor following his livestream. “Sit ur TRANSPHOBIC ass down. It’s sad I even gave u any kind attention.”
Taylor quote-tweeted Nikita, threatening her with alleged blackmail from 2015 and saying that she keeps changing “for clout.”
Nikita went on to tweet that she lives in fear of “being around a man as a trans woman” and especially fears dating men publickly, as this puts both her life and his life “at risk”.
“Trans lives are constantly under attack,” she writes.
This is not the first time Taylor has been exposed as transphobic. Back in 2017, Tana Mongeau released a video titled ‘Taylor Caniff is a transphobic piece of sh*t,’ in which she exposes Taylor for being misogynistic, sexist, transphobic, and racist.
Though Taylor has doubled-down on his comments against Nikita, creators and fans have rallied around her, sending love and support for the trans community.
“Love u Nikita❤️❤️❤️,” wrote beauty guru Patrick Starrr on Nikita’s IGTV.
“AND DURING PRIDE MONTH?! that’s truly disgusting… sending you my love ❤️,” Manny MUA also commented.
For more on violence against the transgender community, see here.