By Alissa Greenberg
June 10, 2015

YouTube beauty expert Ingrid Nilsen had an important message for her 3.3 million followers this morning, announcing in an emotional 20-minute video that she is gay.

The video, which garnered more than 900,000 hits in just eight hours, featured an alternately tearful and pensive Nilsen explaining how she decided to come clean about something very personal.

“I have had this wall up for so much of my life, but it wasn’t like this brick or stone wall,” she said. “I’ve described it to my friends as this glass wall, where you could see me but you were never getting all of me, because there was always that barrier there.”

The 26-year-old social media maven said that despite a need “to take this part of me and put it in a cabinet and lock it up,” she had decided it was time for a new, more honest start.

“I want to live my life unapologetically because I am proud of who I am and I am not going to apologize for who I am anymore,” she said in closing. “This is the life that I have always lived in my head and now it’s real.”

Read next: How Gay Life in America Has Changed Over 50 Years

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