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Katy Montgomerie: On combating online hate and the gender-critical movement

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Katy Montgomerie

It is a joy and a privilege to collaborate with our friends in Edinburgh University's Staff Pride Network to bring our community a live stream of this very special event with Katy Montgomerie!

This event will feature YouTube star, feminist and trans-rights activist Katy Montgomerie will reflect on her experience of online hate and analyse some of its patterns, as well as discuss ways of coping with its impact.

Anti-trans hate is on the rise. The reasons are complex, with international bodies such as ILGA-Europe (2022) and the Council of Europe (2022) noting how trans lives and the legitimacy of trans identity have been turned into a culture-war issue and an indefinite form of ‘debate’ since the beginning of Gender-Recognition-Act reform from 2016. Yet while the complicity of certain guilty parties such as the UK news media and Conservative government are relatively easy to track and record in relation to generating this emerging moral panic, one particularly difficult area of anti-trans hate to analyse is the Internet. This includes its occurrence on the very social media sites that many trans people depend upon for networks of support, making the hate especially distressing for trans communities.

Katy Montgomerie has emerged as one of the most significant trans media figures in the UK, her 80.4k followers on Twitter and 15.3k YouTube-channel subscribers indicating the breadth of her popularity. She is a regular contributor on trans-inclusive online news and current-affairs channels such as Novara Media, the Owen Jones YouTube channel, and LBC with Natasha Devon. There, Katy’s gift for both debunking anti-trans narratives and for explaining trans-centred policy issues in clear and succinct terms has made her a vital communicator for combating transphobia and misinformation in the public domain. Equally, Katy’s experience of navigating social media has allowed her to develop important insights into dealing with the anti-trans abuse and anti-trans networks that organize against trans people online.

It can be argued that through this combination of experience and communication skills, few people are better placed to talk about dealing with transphobic hate online than Katy Montgomerie, and we are lucky to have her as our guest at the University of Edinburgh.

This event, hosted by the University of Edinburgh’s Staff Pride Network, is kindly supported by the University and College Union (UCU) Edinburgh and REPHRAIN - National Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online.

*Please note there is no book to go with this event, and the event is free to watch thanks to funding from the organisers.

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