Blaire White, an opinionated and conservative trans YouTuber, usually catches heat online for her critique of liberal ideology, but, in early February, a tweet of hers elicited a new level of ire from her followers. “Stop ending friendships over political differences,” she tweeted on Feb. 1, a post that has led to fresh debate over how to deal with friends with different political stripes.
Stop ending friendships over political differences. It's an immature and shitty thing to do to someone just because you disagree with them.
— Blaire White (@MsBlaireWhite) February 1, 2018
White, a recently reformed vegan, medically transitioned transgender woman and opinionated conservative YouTuber, often appears as a political contradiction, as her left-leaning social background seems at odds with her right-leaning political viewpoints. In her Twitter bio, @MsBlaireWhite, she puts it simply: “People have really strong feelings about me.”
Especially with the current, supercharged political division, leftists often support the transgender community, while the right supports those critical of liberal ideology. However, because White occupies both of these positions, she forces her audience to reconsider their strict political affiliations and, possibly, open their minds.
Her recent online activity catalogs the controversy of her identity and how the left has adversely reacted to her ideas, no matter how topical. On Feb. 1, when she tweeted about maintaining friendships despite political differences, she showed a streak of bipartisanship that, in today’s fractured political environment, is often interpreted as disloyalty.
“Stop ending friendships over political differences. It’s an immature and shitty thing to do to someone just because you disagree with them.”
The next month, on March 12, she posted a video called “SJWs Are Trying To Find Me (REALLY)” as a response to the aggressive backlash she received for the tweet. In typical White style, she expressed amusement at how angry, far-left tweeters latched on to her almost nice tweet.
More than just her political commentary stirs anger among liberal groups, however; in her video on March 28, “WHY I STOPPED BEING VEGAN AFTER 10 YEARS,” White expressed her reasons for resuming an omnivorous diet despite, at one point, being so committed to the lifestyle that she got a vegan tattoo on her wrist.
Her tone throughout the video is relaxed and honest; she doesn’t condemn veganism or spout hate toward the movement, but instead calmly explains her rationale. Regardless, she received violent backlash from the online vegan community, some of who directly attacked her transgender status.
Some in the vegan community, presumably liberal in their political leanings, momentarily abandoned their leftist values and began attacking White’s transgender identity. One Twitter user, LunaVeg87, noted this discrepancy on April 2, stating,
“I have no love for Blaire White, but seeing how many transphobic comments are being made about her under vegan channels’ responses to her no longer being vegan is DISGUSTING. And you all claim to be about compassion? Shame on all of you for partaking in this and enabling it.”
I have no love for Blaire White, but seeing how many transphobic comments are being made about her under vegan channels' responses to her no longer being vegan is DISGUSTING.
And you all claim to be about compassion? Shame on all of you for partaking in this and enabling it.
— The Killer Mockingbird of Wakanda ? (@LunaVeg87) April 2, 2018
White, a passionate proponent of free speech, took the criticism in stride. Despite many of her videos being demonetized, which she claims is due to their contentious content, she has continued to upload new material to her YouTube channel.
The videos that make her so infamous to the far left are the same that bring the conservatives and liberals into conversation with a divergent transgender individual. Within the comments sections of her politically charged content, three personality types of YouTube users emerge: the angry liberal, the conservative troll and the evolving moderate.
Understandably, many of White’s videos provoke outrage among the left. Her most popular videos include titles like “There Are Only 2 Genders,” “Fat Acceptance Is Stupid” and “Tumblr Vomit,” and she frequently calls herself a “tranny” and discusses her identity as a transmedicalist.
As a result, far left viewers tend to call her a racist when they aren’t accusing her of sullying transgender visibility, much like the partial demonization of another transitioned, conservative transwoman: Caitlyn Jenner.
The conservative trolls will watch White’s videos, then misgender her in the comments section just to cause a stir. These viewers probably won’t experience much growth from watching her either. However, the third segment of her viewers, the evolving moderates, gain valuable perspective from her outspoken visibility.
I call the final group “evolving” because popular conceptions of liberal or conservative ideology don’t apply to them. In the comments, the evolving moderates emerge as those who express support for White, either because she has persuaded them to see her point of view, they connect with her story or they disagree with her but still think she’s funny.
White is persuasive because she transcends the typical dialogue and provides an alternate way of looking at the world. The conservative evolving moderates often express how they never met a transgender person who they could understand before following her channel.
They grow to respect White and understand the humanity of transgender people because her semi-conservative message includes them in the conversation. Most of them even use female pronouns to refer to her, indicating their new mindfulness about the politics of gender identity while enjoying her risqué content.
The liberal evolving moderates connect with White’s personal story; they express their gratitude for a YouTuber who showed them it is possible to have an opinion that varies from the established dialogues. In videos such as “I Used To Be A Social Justice Warrior (Pictures),” she explains her past of extreme liberal ideology.
However, over time, White developed a more nuanced opinion that represents her beliefs and continues to change. White’s perspective is valuable because it shows viewers of all political affiliations that they can stray from strictly left or right ideologies.
According to established logic, a vegan transgender person should not be conservative, but White has occupied that identity and she continues to confuse viewers with this apparent contradiction. However, diverging from established norms is not easy. As White described it in a Feb. 6 Twitter post, “Coming out as transgender was infinitely easier for me than coming out as a conservative.”
Still, she is out and proud in all aspects of her identity.