The half-Colombian, half-Peruvian feminista started TheeKatsMeoww (TKM), a YouTube channel, in 2012 to challenge sexist and racist media messages and question social norms. Through TKM – and her roles as Race Forward’s video production specialist, co-founder of her production company June Baby Productions and a video talent freelancer, Kat is amplifying the stories of Latinx people – and she does so cleverly and hilariously.
Ahead, find out how Kat is using new media to crush the patriarchy and white supremacy.
Why was it important for you to create TKM and other YouTube/video projects that center on women and people of color?
I didn't see myself represented. I had been watching and learning so much from YouTubers like Franchesca Ramsey, Laci Green and Anita Sarkeesian, but I always wondered where the socially conscious Latina YouTuber was. At the time, I gave up on acting because of how hard it was to break into an industry that pigeonholed me into stereotypical Latina roles, but unlike my acting career, YouTube was a place where I could take complete control. There was no one there to dictate who I was and what I had to say.
I focus a lot of my work on women and people of color because those are some of the intersections of my identity that are usually left out of the conversation. I know I’m not the only woman of color hungry for knowledge that can get me questioning society and liberate me from its social constraints, so I make media that does exactly that.
What sort of impact does being erased, underrepresented or misrepresented have on someone?
It leads to many things, such as self-doubt, confusion about your identity and internalized hate. I've experienced all of these things growing up, especially in a majority white neighborhood. To be accepted among my peers, I unconsciously played the role of what a Latina is thought to be: sultry, loud, flirtatious, etc.
Read more on page 2>>>