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YouTube star to visit UT campus for LGBTQA History Month

Anyone can work toward equality; The University of Toledo’s LGBTQA History Month’s keynote speaker is proof of that.

YouTube sensation Kat Blaque will speak Thursday, Oct. 29, at 8 p.m. in Student Union Room 2591.

Blaque

Blaque

Through her online platform, Blaque speaks out about transgender and feminist issues. Her main YouTube channel, TransDIYer/Kat Blaque, has more than 39,000 followers.

“Her perspective is important because black trans women are the most susceptible to violence in the LGBT-plus community,” said Jack Alferio, president of Spectrum UT. “More than 20 trans women have been murdered in the United States in 2015 alone.

“The University of Toledo is very happy and proud to support the trans women of color community by having Kat Blaque keynote our LGBT-plus History Month.”

Blaque will discuss intersectionality and her experience as a black transgender woman during her presentation — topics that she frequents in her YouTube videos.

“As someone with a platform, I feel like it’s important to speak out about the things that impact me and people like me,” she said. “I think we live in a society where we all vaguely understand that certain bad things happen, but don’t often have critical conversations about it that allow people to really understand how these things impact people’s lives. So many people don’t understand how their seemingly harmless joke about black people impacts black people’s lives or how their Caitlyn Jenner costume creates an antagonistic environment for trans people. I believe in encouraging empathy, and I embody too many intersections to not speak out.”

In addition to her work on the video-sharing website, Blaque has animated several short films, including “Sometimes You’re a Caterpillar” by fellow YouTube personality Franchesca “Chescaleigh” Ramsey.

Alferio said Blaque was selected as the keynote speaker because she is relatable to college students and her social media platforms are easily accessible for everyone.

“For some reason, a lot of people are shocked that someone like me even exists,” Blaque said. “A lot of people have preconceived notions about black people, trans people or women, and I contradict a lot of those assumptions. I’m a fairly patient person, and I try to educate first and that has helped a lot of people. I get a bunch of positive emails saying that I’ve really changed people’s positions and when I started getting recognized on the street, so many people have walked up to me and said that I’ve in fact changed their lives. I love having a positive impact, and it’s given me a sense of purpose.” 

For more information on the free, public talk, call the UT Office of Multicultural Student Success at 419.530.2261.