DISCLAIMER: ALL VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE BELONG TO THE INTERVIEWER, STEPHANIE BRAMSON, OR THE INTERVIEWEE, BLAIRE WHITE, AND ARE NOT A REFLECTION OF THE VIEWS OF ANYONE ELSE AT GEEK GIRL AUTHORITY.
This week, the United States will be holding the inauguration for a new president. In the months leading up to the election, our country saw an extreme polarization unlike any seen before. Part of the rise of the vocal majority and minority was due to the increased influence of social media, but until the results were announced, many people were still unaware of just how different the rest of the country’s views actually were from their own. Largely due to Facebook’s algorithm and the mental rewards of confirmation bias, loads of Facebook users saw news and comments only from their close friends and assumed that the rest of the country felt as they did, which made the result of the election come as a shock.
One obvious cure for confirmation bias is to deliberately seek out bloggers and news sources written by people you disagree with. As a liberal feminist with an unhealthy obsession with YouTube, my first step at educating myself on conservatives was to seek out conservative vloggers. There are several political vloggers out there, but few are more fascinating than Blaire White–a conservative, a Millennial, and a trans woman. Blaire’s not one to shy away from controversy, but she’s also a firm believer in free speech and intelligent discourse, and she was gracious enough to do this interview with me even after hearing that I’m basically an SJW (Social Justice Warrior) myself. Here’s what she had to say:
Steph: How did you get into YouTube in the first place? What was the spark that made you decide to start vlogging?
Blaire White: I really never saw myself becoming a “Youtuber”- it sort of happened by chance. I was on my friend’s Youtube channel for a random livestream, and by the time the stream had ended, I had hundreds of people messaging me and encouraging me to start my own channel. I was taken aback, but I listened to their encouragement and took the plunge. I put up my first video in December of 2015, and the rest is history.
Steph: How would you describe your channel to people who’ve never seen it before?
Blaire White: My channel is a “one-tranny” show. I do social and political commentary and try to inject humor and glamour where I can. A lot of the topics I talk about are heavy and sort of depressing, so I make it my goal to maintain seriousness along with the hairflips. I feel like there’s plenty of channels where you can find somber political discussions, and that’s great, but I prefer a light-hearted touch for my own channel.
Steph: As a conservative, you’ve gotten a lot of backlash from the trans community. Have you gotten any backlash as a trans woman from conservatives? What has the backlash been like from either side?
Blaire White: I get a small amount of backlash from hard-line social conservatives who think that my existence as a trans woman is a threat to traditional values, but the negative response I get from the left is probably about twenty times larger. I think most people on the right in the age of Trump take a libertarian stance on issues like transgenderism. I also have a large male conservative following who frequently tell me that I give them a more positive perspective on trans people. It’s an unintended consequence of my videos, because I didn’t come onto Youtube to do trans activism.
When it comes to the left however, I’m seen as Public Enemy No. 1. Liberals tend to be shocked that I would dare, as a trans woman, have a worldview that doesn’t match their far-left expectations. Many think I’m not even trans at all, just a biological woman masquerading as a tranny as some sort of cruel joke meant to disenfranchise them. It’s mental, really.
Steph: One of the most interesting things about your channel is that you take a conservative stance not in spite of you being trans but because of it. Some examples include your being opposed to radical Islamic governments because they oppress trans and other LGBTQ people, opposing the idea that gender is a social construct because if it wasn’t biologically based, there would be no need to transition physically from one gender to another, and having little sympathy for fat acceptance advocates because of the amount of work you’ve put into your body for your transition. How else has your identity as a trans woman affected your views? Want to elaborate a bit more on the ones mentioned above?
Blaire White: Although being transgender is only a small aspect of my everyday life, I can’t deny that it has shaped my worldview on specific issues. I can’t wrap my head around LGBT people who refuse to criticize Islam, a religion that is responsible for so much persecution against them. I couldn’t step foot in any Islamic country without being jailed or worse. The expectation for me to keep my mouth shut and accept refugees from these backward cultures into my country without pause or concern is truly disturbing. People often ask me, “what’s your problem with Islam?” but I promise you that Islam has a much bigger problem with me.
As far as how being trans affects my general worldview, I think it has really shaped my character and installed a hard work ethic in me. Transitioning is both expensive and rigorous, and living your life with such a large goal in the forefront of your mind has really pushed me bust my ass to work for what I want.
Steph: You’ve made it pretty clear that you’re opposed to modern feminism (but not first and second wave feminism–a distinction that few modern feminists make), but a lot of the things you say are fairly similar to arguments that modern feminists claim to stand for–how male victims of abuse and sexual assault need to be taken more seriously, that no one is entitled to a date or sex, and that we need to do more to help women and members of the LGBTQ community in non-Western countries. Why do you think this divide exists? Is it that feminists don’t do enough to address these issues, or something else?
Blaire White: I have made statements and videos in defense of men and men’s rights groups because feminists do not. They will pay lip service if you specifically bring up how men may be disenfranchised or discriminated against, but on activist and legislative levels there is no real work behind their words. If there was, there wouldn’t even be a need for men’s advocacy. With that being said, I’m not an MRA. I don’t have allegiance to any particular group even if I sympathize with their goals. Cosigning a group is what gets people into trouble as we’ve seen with the Black Lives Matter movement. The movement took a turn for the absolute worst, and those who initially jumped on look foolish. I’d rather take on each issue individually.
Steph: On the subject of the last entry, a lot of your arguments take statements that liberals make and spin them around to address contradictions and blindspots–specifically the idea that no one is entitled to a date or sex, which liberals say but then follow with statements that not being attracted to a certain gender, sex, or body type is a form of bigotry. Would you like to go into a little more detail about these contradictions and your opinions on them?
Blaire White: That’s the irony of that particular argument. Liberals will call cis straight white men pigs and dogs who expect sex from women over the smallest of indiscretions, but then chime in with “By the way, if you don’t date or sleep with transgender people you are transphobic”. It’s absolute lunacy. These double standards are the core of why America is waking up to see why the left’s arguments are inferior. If they keep going with this, we’re going to see a second Trump term.
Steph: In one of your recent videos, you responded to YouTube channel “Queer Kid Stuff,” a channel with the mission of educating children about LGBTQ issues. Your main issue with this channel was that it’s teaching children about sex too early, regardless of what orientation it’s teaching. Want to talk some more about this one?
Blaire White: The target audience of Queer Kid Stuff is ages 3-7. I don’t see any logical reason why toddlers should learn about transgenderism and pansexuality before they can even spell their own name. It’s pure indoctrination, and I found the channel to be very disturbing. I don’t have a problem with a blanket statement to curious children such as “Some boys like boys, some girls like girls”, but anything more than that is truly unnecessary. Almost all of the things that channel teaches are also a spit in the face to science, so on top of concerning kids with adult concepts they’re also giving them false information.
Steph: It’s pretty easy to draw comparisons between you and Milo Yiannopoulos. Both of you are part of the LGBTQ community, both of you get a lot of hate from the rest of the LGBTQ community for being right wing, both of you use politically incorrect humor in your arguments, and both of you are firm advocates for freedom of speech and discourse. You’ve even defended Milo in your videos, mainly when it comes to social justice advocates refusing to let him speak at events. Have you had any direct interaction with him? If so, how did it go? If not, how do you think it would go if you did?
Blaire White: I get compared to Milo a lot. We have a similar style and we’re both “LGBT” so I’m not put off by it. He had me on his fundraiser stream for his Privilege Grant a while back, and we had some communication about another project that fell through, but we don’t have a personal relationship.
Steph: Speaking of freedom of speech, while you take issue with left-wing activists, you’ve never challenged their right to speak. One thing that free speech advocates on both sides of the fence agree about is that freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism, since limiting the other side’s right to respond is imposing on their free speech as well. How has this willingness to engage in discourse affected your arguments?
Blaire White: I’m often starving for political discourse because I find that many on the left choose to hide from anyone who disagrees with them. Why do you think liberals were all so unbelievably shocked and appalled that Trump won the election? They refused to engage with Trump supporters so much to the point that they forgot they even existed. They prefer to stay within their own circles. I’ve reached out to countless leftist Youtubers to have a live debate on my channel and it’s never happened. I believe that open exchange of ideas is how good ideas rise to the surface and bad ones die.
Steph: Speaking of discourse, you clashed with Onision in a couple of videos (which is kind of the YouTube equivalent of being on Law and Order, or Sesame Street, or hosting SNL–clashing with Onision is practically a right of passage for YouTubers these days). He spent the majority of his response video to you attempting to debunk your jokes and missing the actual points you made about his video on feminism. What was this experience like? From what I gather, it was one of the few cases where you faced a direct confrontation, since most of the response videos either by or about you tend to be more along the lines of open letters.
Blaire White: Onision is a clown. He’s banned from Vidcon and I’m really glad because I’m going this year. I’d probably projectile vomit on him if we saw each other.
Steph: You do use a lot of humor in your videos, albeit politically incorrect humor. How does your sense of humor affect your debate style? Are your videos scripted, or are you mostly speaking off the cuff?
Blaire White: I speak mostly off the cuff. I really enjoy politically incorrect humor, but I wouldn’t really use it in a debate. I don’t see my videos as debates because they’re all response videos. If one of the leftist Youtubers I reach out to for a debate ever decides to bite, you’ll see me a different side of me.
Steph: The quality of your videos has evolved a lot from the beginning–as in the physical, film making quality, not the quality of your content. Did you change cameras or lighting at some point? Switch editing software? How has creating more and more vlogs changed your editing and film making style? Have you considered doing non-vlog videos or conventional film making?
Blaire White: Haha I started my channel with the crappiest quality webcam and a little table lamp with this harsh yellow lighting. Truly tragic. I’ve improved the visual and audio quality gradually and at the request of my audience. It was honestly a learning curve, there’s so much more to it than people realize. I’m at a comfortable place now, but I’m going to continue to improve. I just don’t want one of those 4k cameras that literally show the inside of my damn pores. No one needs to see that.
Steph: What’s next for your channel? What can we expect from your future videos?
Blaire White: In 2017 I really want to branch out and touch different topics. Making fun of SJWs is fun, but there’s more I’d like to talk about. I also want to do more collaborations, and there’s a secret project I’m working on right now that I’m ecstatic for. I’ve officially been doing my thing on the internet for one year now, and I’m ready to kick it up a notch for year two.
Steph: What else would you like to say to our readers before finishing this interview?
Blaire White: Don’t wear socks with sandals.
For more Blaire White, visit her channel here.