By Kaitlyn Resline
Kat Blaque, a YouTuber, illustrator and writer, kicked off KU’s 7th annual Gender & Sexual Minorities Conference on Oct. 6. Blaque’s keynote focused on the power of one’s voice in today’s culture, fitting the conference theme “Advocacy in Action.”
A lot of Blaque’s work focuses on intersectionality, especially since she is a black trans woman and survivor of sexual assault. As a trans woman, Blaque often internalized the transphobia around her, believing that being openly trans instead of “stealth” would make it harder to find work.
“When I was younger and I would close my eyes and try to envision my future.It was basically impossible,” Blaque said.
Blaque started her YouTube channel to discuss race, gender, and other social justice issues. However, her personal and professional identities did not merge until she collaborated with Franchesca Ramsey for a video. This video, “Sometimes You’re A Caterpillar,” was the changing point of Blaque’s career.
“A lot of what I started out doing came from a place of wanting desperately for this content to exist somewhere online,” Blaque said.
Although Blaque still makes feminist content, she emphasized how she changes her “everything” often. Now, her YouTube features pop culture reviews alongside discussions of polyamory, sex positivity and the LGBTQ+ community. In her work she wants people to acknowledge that they do not all have the same experiences and to understand each other more. “I’m all about humanizing all the things I embody,” she said. “It’s important to show all my sides because you can be so many things at once.”