5 Transgender YouTubers Who Are Paving The Way For Trans Visibility
15 November 2017, 15:23
Celebrate transgender visibility week by getting to know some of the most inspiring trans YouTubers out there
November 13th - 17th is Transgender Awareness Week; a time where transgender people and their allies celebrate the strides made in terms of rights and visibility, and also take stock of the battles ahead.
Over the past two years, we've seen an explosion of transgender visibility. From A-list celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne cox through to soap actors and newsreaders, for the first time in history the mainstream is beginning to correct the historical exclusion of transgender people from public life.
But where there is progress, there is also resistance to change.
The average life expectancy for a black trans woman in America is just 35 years old, while in the UK opposition to transgender equality has left many trans people feeling ostracised and threatened. Street violence remains prevalent, and transgender people still cannot be legally recognised as the gender they truly are without facing numerous legal and medical hurdles. Transgender youth are particularly affected by transphobia in society - almost half of young transgender people in the UK have attempted suicide.
Transgender YouTubers are important community figureheads, who people can look up to and find support in
So to celebrate this year's Transgender Awareness Week, here are X transgender YouTubers who are being that all-important lifeline.
27-year-old Kat Blaque began vlogging back in 2010. Her YouTube series True Tea is an incredible resource on transgender and race issues, while over on Twitter she regularly speaks out against injustice and provides her unique take on politics and pop culture.
Outside of her activism, Kat is an incredible illustrator who has been featured on platforms such as the Huffington Post, MTV and Everyday Feminism.
22-year-old Alex Bertie has become something of a transgender poster boy in the UK after documenting his transition over the past four years. With very little information about the realities of transitioning available to young trans masculine people, Alex's YouTube channel has become a lifeline for young trans guys who might not know what transitioning entails. His channel also gives cisgender people the chance to learn about transitioning from someone who's actually going through it.
With over 300,000 subscribers and a successful book, Alex is an important and growing voice in the UK transgender rights movement.
Since her YouTube debut in 2015, Riley's channel has become a one-stop shop for all things politics. She's not afraid to go into the nitty-gritty of political issues, from anti-muslim discrimination to immigration rights, and provides easy-to-understand takes on the politics of identity.
Outside of politics, Riley is a sex-positive vlogger and writer
With over a million subscribers, Miles McKenna is one of the most prominent transgender YouTubers in the world. The 22-year-old's channel is focussed on comedy, with most of his sketches and videos playing on his sexuality and gender.
Much like Alex Bertie, Julie Vu documented her transition through YouTube, helping to dispel myths and bring important conversations to light at the same time. She's also passionate about beauty, and regularly shares makeup tutorials with her 460,000 subscribers.
One of the first people to document their transition on YouTube, Julie is something of a transgender trailblazer. She's as pioneering offline as she is online too, having starred in a show a show called The Switch - which was billed as the first ever transgender sitcom.