The Circumstances of Trans Beauty Influencer Nikita Dragun’s Arrest Are Incredibly Disturbing
YouTuber and social media influencer Nikita Dragun was arrested this week, and the circumstances of her arrest are concerning. Dragun rose to prominence through her self-titled YouTube channel, which she debuted in 2013. While her channel hasn’t been updated in a year, it does boast a staggering 3.54 million followers. She attained her fame largely by posting makeup tutorials, collaborations with other YouTube stars, and ASMR videos.
Dragun came out as transgender in 2015 and has been a vocal advocate for the transgender community since. In 2019, she criticized Victoria’s Secret for omitting transgender models and created her own ad for the company. That same year, she debuted Dragun Beauty, a cosmetics line marketed towards the transgender community. In addition to her YouTube channel and cosmetics line, she also appeared in the Snapchat docuseries, Nikita Unfiltered.
While Dragun is a strong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, she has received criticism in the past for blackfishing and cultural appropriation. The backlash may have been part of the reason she opted to take a hiatus from YouTube in 2021. In September 2022, she addressed the absence and mentioned that her life had gotten a little bit “crazy” over the years. Her growth in fame came with a lot of scrutiny and backlash that prompted the hiatus. Just about a month after speaking to E! News about her career, Dragun was arrested.
Why was Dragun arrested?
Dragun was arrested on November 7, 2022, in Miami, Fl, for alleged felony assault. The YouTuber was reportedly staying at The Goodtime Hotel in Miami when the arrest occurred. Local police reported to the scene after receiving calls about a guest engaging in disorderly conduct. The caller claimed that Dragun was walking unclothed around the pool premises and had splashed water on a hotel staff member.
By the time the police arrived, Dragun had seemingly returned to her hotel room. However, when the cops knocked on her door and threatened to escort her from the premises, she allegedly opened the door and splashed a cop with water from a water bottle. According to NBC News, she was arrested and charged with felony battery, misdemeanor battery, and misdemeanor conduct charges.
What happened to Dragun, explained
What was concerning wasn’t the fact that Dragun was arrested but that the Miami-Dade County Corrections Department reportedly jailed her in a men’s unit upon her arrest. (A rep for Miami-Dade Corrections has denied this happened but it would be far from the first time the county had allegedly violated the rights and dignity of trans detainees.) The arrest affidavit also misgendered her, despite her identifying with she/her pronouns since as far back as 2015. When appearing in bond court on November 8th, 2022, she inquired if she had to be held in a men’s unit. Judge Mindy Glazer replied, “I don’t make the rules up there.”
Dragun’s representative, Jack Ketsoyan, slammed the Miami-Dade Corrections Department for endangering Dragun by placing her in a men’s unit. Ketsoyan stated:
This decision made by the Miami-Dade County Corrections Department directly violates their protocol, which mandates that transgender inmates are classified and housed based on safety needs and gender identity. Nikita has been released and is now safe. Thank you for respecting her privacy during this time.
Fortunately, as of November 9, 2022, Dragun had been released from custody and is safe. She is due in court on December 7, 2022, to address her charges. However, if Dragun was placed in a men’s unit despite being legally female, that’s extremely disturbing. The decision to jail inmates based on assigned sex and not on sexual identity is dangerous and can increase the risk of inmates becoming victims of abuse and assault. This was an egregious decision on Miami-Dade County Corrections’ part that allegedly went against their protocol and should not go without consequences.
(featured image: YouTube)
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