Chris Crocker of “Leave Britney Alone” fame hopes to begin their transition after selling an NFT version of their 2007 viral video.
Crocker became an internet sensation in 2007 when they posted a tearful video on YouTube imploring the world to “Leave Britney alone” as the media focus on the star’s mental health crisis became increasingly toxic. Instead of heeding their message, the world instead stood back and relentlessly mocked Crocker.
Despite this, Chris Crocker quickly rose to fame, with the video amassing more than 2 million views in just 24 hours.
Now 33 years old, Crocker has decided to sell the original video as a non-fungible token (NFT). Having recently opened up about being trans, they hope the proceeds can, after helping them take care of their family, allow them to “begin my transition”.
An NFT is a form of technology that confirms a piece of content is unique and irreplaceable. NFTs are generally part of the Ethereum blockchain, which is a type of cryptocurrency.
Bidding ended on Monday evening (12 April) on the unique version of “Leave Britney Alone”, fetching 18.6942 ETH, equating to more than $40,000 in real currency.
Chris Crocker retreated into the closet when they returned to Tennessee
Crocker has been open for some time about their journey with their gender identity. When they uploaded their “Leave Britney Alone” video to YouTube in 2007, much of the cultural discussion focused on Crocker’s gender expression.
The former YouTuber has since revealed that they have always been trans, but they retreated into the closet when they moved back to the small, rural town in Tennessee they originally came from.
In a recent Instagram video, Crocker – who has not publicly stated what pronouns they use – said they “present as aesthetically male”, but told fans they “always felt like a woman on the inside”.
“Not every trans person has the same experience. I have gotten used to almost playing the part. To me this is drag,” Crocker said.
“And so I kind of, for better or for worse, for survival purposes, disassociate from how I’m presenting. I don’t identify with this. It doesn’t match how I feel on the inside.”
Crocker said that, for now, they can honour their femininity by “just acknowledging” how they feel on the inside.
The social media star also said they have not yet transitioned because they are afraid of the backlash and violence they could face from locals in the small Tennessee town they live in.
Crocker also explained that they are afraid of transitioning in case it impacts on their income, which primarily comes from their sex work on OnlyFans. They plan to transition when they can afford to do so financially.
Just weeks ago, Crocker reflected on the backlash they faced in 2007 after they shared the “Leave Britney Alone” video, saying the reaction was “transphobic”.
“Maybe people reaching out to tell me ‘Chris, you were right’ would feel good if I knew that people could unpack that the reason no one took me serious was because I was a gender-bending teenager and the reaction to me was transphobic,” Crocker wrote.
They also said much of the hate thrown at them came from other LGBT+ people, including physical attacks at gay bars and on the street.
“I hope not only Britney gets the freedom she deserves, but that Femme queer people are not tortured in the media when showcasing humanity,” Crocker wrote.