Life After Going Viral: Kat Blaque Once Wanted To Stay Under The Radar Because Of Her Trans Identity, But Not Anymore
"I want for people to be able to listen to the narratives of people who are not like them,” the creator and activist told us.
February 08, 2019 at 8:06 pm
Kat Blaque is now a well-known internet personality, but there was a time when she worked hard to ensure she never went viral.
However, her stance on virality changed after she collaborated with Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey for the animated film Sometimes You’re A Caterpillar in 2014.
“For a really long time, I had been afraid of going viral because as a trans person it was one of my goals to be stealth—no one to ever know I was transgender,” Blaque told Blavity as part our video series Life After Going Viral. “I knew that if I worked with her, that I would have to potentially sacrifice a degree of stealth. Even though my YouTube channel was not very successful [and] not a lot of people knew about it, it had trans content.”
Her viral moment came when the creator did a video with Buzzfeed about gender pronouns. Blaque didn’t think the video would get much traction, but she was wrong. The video has been viewed more than 2 million times since it was posted in March 2015.
Fortunately, the 28-year-old’s work with Ramsey prepared her for the onslaught of attention, which she says helped her find her niche.
“I recognized I had a passion for explaining these social justice concepts in a very accessible way,” Blaque told us. “Also, I really loved using my art to do it. So, a lot of what I do now on my channel is use my art, illustration, animation … all that jazz to express these concepts and to make them a little more fun to learn about.”
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Blaque is currently working on her blog A Girl Named Kathryn as she rediscovers her love of writing. The blog covers her life as a Black, trans and polyamorous person living in Los Angeles. She hopes sharing her narrative will foster acceptance for marginalized people and says the Kat Blaque who transitioned at 16 years old isn’t the same Kat Blaque we watch in 2019.
“It’s so different now,” she said. “I have way more of an understanding of the world and my own expectations and experiences as a trans person. I really want to share that because, if anything, the soul behind a lot of what I do is I want for people to be able to listen to the narratives of people who are not like them.”
Blaque knows it would have been easier for her to keep her identity a secret, but is happy with her journey.
“I know that it would have been easier for me to maintain a degree of stealth where people didn’t know I was trans,” she admits. “I could be happy or whatever and it’s just be fine. But, it’s a lot more helpful, I think, to express what my experiences are as a trans person so that other people can learn empathy and understanding and acceptance of trans people.”
Watch the video above to see Kat discuss her career highlights and what's to come.
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