Charlie McDonnell returns to YouTube after proudly coming out as trans: ‘A lot’s changed’

British YouTuber Charlie McDonnell, also known as charlieissocoollike, has returned to the platform for the first time since coming out as trans.

McDonnell scrubbed their channel of its content after stepping back from the public eye a few years ago, before later came out publicly as trans in October 2022.

However, she made a surprise return to YouTube on Thursday (20 January) with a “reintroduction” question and answer video.

McDonnell confirmed that she goes by she/they pronouns and that she began hormone replacement therapy four months ago. She added that her first name is Charlie, which she plans to formalise legally.

McDonnell acknowledged she had been “gone for quite a while” and “a lot’s changed” but was “interested in, sort of, dipping my toe back into the water of YouTube”.

“I felt like, maybe, if I came back perhaps I might enjoy doing it again,” she stated.

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McDonnell, who was one on the first major YouTube stars and the first in the UK to reach one million subscribers, said their public persona was part of what stopped them from embracing their identity.

Her YouTube channel has maintained more than 2.11 million subscribers despite her previous departure.

She said growing her hair out during the Covid-19 pandemic “was a pretty good cover story”, noting that many people were doing it at the time because “people couldn’t go out and have haircuts”.

McDonnell clarified she had wiped her social media channels of old content to “make sure that any internet space that I had control over presented me as the person I am now”.

She continued: “I didn’t want them [her old videos] to be the thing that people saw when they googled my name and I just hope people will kind of respect that decision.”

That also included not rehashing stuff she had previously done on YouTube, like Fun Science.

She acknowledged transphobes did make her anxious about returning to social media and was overall nervous to be returning.

“I’m doing good… I’m feeling good, I’m feeling more confident than I ever have,” McDonnell said.

“I’m excited by my life right now.”

People welcomed her return online, saying they were happy to see her and that now “Charlie is even cooler like”.

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