Michael Kittrell From ‘Hollywood Hillbillies’ Comes Out As Transgender, Changes Name In New YouTube Video

Michael Kittrell from Hollywood Hillbillies shared on YouTube on Tuesday that he’s transgender and is working on becoming a woman through hormone therapy. The new video was uploaded under Kittrell’s username “CopperCab,” and has had mixed reactions from fans of the redheaded internet superstar.

Michael Kittrell, 23, has been entertaining viewers for the last six years on his YouTube channel, with his very first video, titled “Gingers Do Have Souls,” having over a million views. Since that first video in 2010, Kittrell has landed a reality TV show on Reelz, also known as the ReelzChannel, and has hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers, but says he’s been hiding his true identity from fans for all these years and is now “done pretending.”

People Magazine shared on Tuesday that Michael Kittrell, better known as his internet personality, “CopperCab,” shocked fans and came out as transgender in the video tagged as #TransPride. For over 10 minutes, Kittrell explains that he’s no longer going to hide, even though he knows a lot of fans will make fun of him or think he’s joking. Kittrell goes on to say that this was the hardest video he’s ever made for his popular YouTube channel, and that viewers need to watch it the whole way through before judging. Nearly in tears, Michael Kittrell also explains why he’s been absent from his YouTube channel that he’s regularly posted videos to since he was 17-years-old — videos that he says is just him “expressing” himself.

Loyal followers fell in love with the “Angry Ginger” and his brutal honesty, starting with his very first YouTube video on January 14, 2010, where he confronts Comedy Central’s adult animated sitcom, South Park, for saying that gingers don’t have souls. Kittrell said that he is a ginger and he does have a soul, which he bared all of in Tuesday’s video that he said he tried filming 100 times and still wasn’t happy with. According to Michael Kittrell, he was fighting an anxiety attack throughout the entire video and that he wasn’t even going to make the video. Instead, Kittrell tells fans that his plan was to just leave YouTube completely and “never come back.”

But Kittrell says he’s now stronger than ever and feels comfortable enough in his own skin to finally let fans know that he’s been going through hormone replacement therapy for the last five months. Kittrell said he began to transition three years ago during the first season of his candid, documentary-style, reality TV series called Hollywood Hillbillies that he films with his 71-year-old “Mema,” Delores Hughes. Hollywood Hillbillies is still ongoing on the ReelzChannel, preventing Michael Kittrell from disappearing from the spotlight completely, which was his original plan. Rather, Kittrell took strength from Caitlyn Jenner’s recent public transition and decided to tell fans who he really is, saying “take it or leave it.”

“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.”

Wearing makeup for the video, Michael says that he started cross-dressing in 2014, when Hollywood Hillbillies first aired, and that his girlfriend at the time, Karah, knew something was up with him. Kittrell explains that he’s always been different from other boys and was picked on in school for being “feminine” and for not playing sports. Apparently, Kittrell has known why he’s different for a while now, but never told anyone until Tuesday. He even announced less than a year ago on YouTube that he was engaged to ex-girlfriend, Karah, but now claims he wants to be called “Claire” instead of the name he was born with.

“I’m not going to pretend to be someone else anymore. Not in front of the camera and not behind one.”

Some viewers say that Michael Kittrell is just trying to go viral again on YouTube, but since the video was uploaded, Kittrell has changed his profile photo to show his new identity, and has said that he’s had overall “overwhelming support.” Michael Kittrell also said that he’s planning to upload another video to his YouTube channel on Sunday of “Claire” going shopping, saying that he’s never been more nervous, yet so happy in his whole life.

“I’m genuinely ecstatic. Even SHANE DAWSON followed me and tweeted me this morning. This is nuts! I’ve had such a rough year coming up to this video, the last few days have been absolutely nerve wracking, but I’m so proud of how everyone has responded.”