Generating controversy is a playbook some have perfected to keep their audiences engaged in an era where distractions are plentiful, and few have quite mastered it as Blaire White. For the bulk of her YouTube career, Blaire was essentially a pawn for the conservative movement that they can play to undermine trans people’s claim to their rights–their attempts have known mild success, but it wasn’t without its pains.
The genius of Blaire’s process is how she launders vile transphobic rhetoric through what might seem like completely-innocuous political punditry. Almost every video there is a new character for the audience to latch onto, and myriad methods are used to activate their political animus. It isn’t too dissimilar from what the rest of the New Right does on YouTube, only with sharper focus on a few individual actors rather than broad cultural issues as the platform’s cabal of Koch-funded faux-intellectuals tend to.
Further bolstering Blaire’s visibility is the scarcity of trans public figures to begin with–because mainstream recognition of trans people is a recent occurrence, it means that Blaire may have possibly been many people’s first exposure to the relevant literature. One might instinctually assume this only affects cis people, but other trans people are just as susceptible to internalizing Blaire’s rhetoric into what could only be described as an extreme form of self-loathing. The overbearing presence of negative sentiment around being trans — something Blaire has no problem amplifying — does constitute its own public health hazard–if not through discouraging crucial healthcare access, then definitely by planting the seeds for long-term mental health woes.
The cruelty of what Blaire does cannot be understated–to live as a trans person is to be met with hostility from those who’ve yet to grasp the intricacies of recent advances made in understanding gender identity, so to add on top of it further grief to manage is often recipe for great psychological torment. Sure her presence can be ignored, but the echoes of her hateful rhetoric reverberate ever-strongly in the fragile fabric of our public discourse–transphobia’s pollutive properties make it so…