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The writer of a popular self-care Twitter account revealed he's been pretending to be a black woman online, and people are angry

Isaiah Hickland

  • On Friday, 23-year-old Texas State University graduate Isaiah Hickland revealed that he was the writer behind the popular Twitter account @emoblackthot.

  • The announcement shocked fans of the account because they had believed it to be written by a black woman named Nicole. 

  • As 'Nicole,' Hickland dished out health and wellness advice to women, even recommending ways to lessen the pain of periods. 

  • Followers say Hickland intentionally deceived and manipulated them, trading on the persona of a black woman for popularity and follows. 

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories. 

@emoblackthought is a popular Twitter account with more than 165,000 followers. It espoused self-care and self-love, and was followed by celebrities, including Megan Thee Stallion, who connected with the warmth and humor of the anonymous black woman named Nicole who ran the account.

Except she didn't exist. 

On Friday, 23-year-old Texas State University graduate Isaiah Hickland revealed via YouTube and in a Paper magazine article that he was actually the voice behind the account, shocking loyal followers who say they feel duped and deceived.  

Hickland's Twitter odyssey began nearly four years ago, when he posted under the handle @madblackthot. That account was suspended over a copyright infringement issue in 2017.  According to a 20-minute YouTube video he posted, titled "My Reveal," he then took the handle @emoblackthot over from a friend of friend.

bank account was looking cute then i paid rent pic.twitter.com/TEYuuy5s2L

— @emoblackthot (@emoblackthot) October 1, 2019


Hickland said in the video the anonymous account was a way for him to support social justice issues and express his truth as a bisexual black male. But because the account often spoke about and offered advice on female-specific issues — and because he referred to himself as Nicole — his audience assumed he was a woman. Hickland obliquely addressed the lie in both his YouTube video and on his Twitter. 

"To black women: I want to sincerely apologize. the intention of my actions doesn't matter, the impact & how they make you feel does. I take full accountability for my actions and I'm sorry," he wrote on Twitter

Fans and followers of the account called Hickland out for the depths of his deception, noting that he regularly made recommendations to readers on how to handle their periods and kept the ruse up via DMs and group chats. 

EmoBlackThot was a man the entire time pretending to be a woman for clout. Telling ppl what vitamins to use for periods and shit......men are so odd and clout is a helluva drug.

— avatarcmoney parody acct (@notavatarcmoney) October 11, 2019

but why did you give us advice about periods and talk to us about body issues we face as women..

— sm (@essemgm) October 11, 2019

Many say they feel betrayed because Hickland's account took attention and space away from black women, and are frustrated that, when confronted about his identity in the past, Hickland chose to lie. 

emoblackthot gave that page to Isaiah Hickland. After I called Isaiah out for tweeting way too similarly to emoblackthot, she (emo) DM’d me saying she manages that account.

The “reveal” is FRAUDULENT pic.twitter.com/ikxsVTEYgN

— x. (@Slaybunnyy) October 11, 2019


i just don’t understand why @emoblackthot would lie about being a black woman? you can advocate for us without catfishing.