Kat Pemberton

Activist, Model and Vlogger

Kat is a 22-year-old disability activist, model & vlogger from Yorkshire. She began vlogging on YouTube to share, and demystify, her day-to-day life as a young woman with Spinal Muscular Atrophy type two (SMA2). Aware that many people cannot get past the wheelchair, Kat uses online platforms to educate others. She shares her interests, experience and creativity along with what her life is like as a young disabled gay woman: including very ordinary things like shopping, going to college and spending time with friends.

She says: “Something that I try to live by is ‘People will stare, give them something to look at!’ Just as I’ve grown up with strangers staring or asking invasive questions. I feel strongly motivated to challenge people’s perceptions, whilst having fun and embracing my individuality!”

Kat loves fashion and beauty, with a personal style she describes as “80s Barbie and mermaid”. She joined modelling agency Zebedee Management and has modelled for the BooHoo ‘All Girls’ campaign. Kat also took part in a BBC 5 Live discussion about how disability can be represented better in the fashion and beauty industries.

In 2017 Kat made a short, snappy film with Fixers UK about disability stereotypes and the awkward comments she is fed up of hearing, and spoke on ITV news about it.

Kat adds her disability perspective to conversations in the LGBTQ+ community (such as about physical access at Pride parades) and adds her LGBTQ+ experience to conversations about disability. Kat took part in HSBC’s Portraits of Pride campaign, as one of four LGBTQ+ campaigners who had their portraits painted and displayed throughout the UK during Pride month.

Recently Kat has been appointed as Yorkshire regional champion for national disability organisation AccessAble. She promotes AccessAble’s accessibility information through videos and media appearances. She has also run workshops in schools and colleges (with students and tutors) and given talks at events including the Women of the World Festival.