• One of this year's Occupation Double contestants has been making waves in the media ever since she made it on the Québécois reality TV show.
  • This contestant was the first-ever openly trans woman to appear on Quebec reality television.
  • Read all about Khate Lessard and her influence below!

So, one thing that continues to separate anglophone Quebecers from francophones is what we choose to watch on TV. As an anglophone, I can say that I rarely go out of my way to watch French-language television. Not because it's in French necessarily, but because there are a million other things out there, I suppose. But, whenever I'm with my franco friends, I suddenly want to start watching the Quebec reality TV show Occupation Double, since it's all Québécois Millennials seem to talk about... 

The show undoubtedly seems ultra heteronormative, as the producers have men and women living in separate houses for the majority of the show, and its entire purpose is for the candidates to "find love" with people from the opposite houses.

But beyond all the seemingly high school drama, the show has been a launching pad for some of its contestants' careers. Khate Lessard is one of these people. Although she only stayed on the show for a week, she managed to make her presence known, and since then, she's been inspiring her followers both in Quebec and internationally.

Khate has been a very active voice in conversations about the LGBTQ+ community in Quebec. She has defended the community's rights time and time again on her YouTube channel, and now uses her Instagram as a platform to share uplifting messages.

This 23-year-old woman has been making waves online and has gained a huge fan base in the process.

In Khate's introductory video for Occupation Double, she says (translated from French to English):

"I am a girl from Abitibi, I am a beneficiary worker and I also give lectures to talk about my career and help young people who have questions. I am really proud to be the first trans woman on OD... I'm an authentic woman... OD is giving me the chance to bring visibility for trans women on this TV show because we've never seen this before."

In one of her videos with Marie-Mai, the famous Québécoise singer confesses to Khate that she considers her a source of inspiration and says we need more people out there like her who say "hi, we're allowed to be who we want to be."

It's a sentiment that many of Khate's followers share. Since she left the show, Khate has posted a series of photos and updates that have garnered widespread attention and praise.

A month ago, for example, she introduced her Instagram followers to her new boyfriend.

In her photo caption, she explains that the two met last year in her hometown of Abitibi, where it seemed at first that their plans would separate them. But, as Khate writes, "la vie fait bien les choses" — "life does things well."

She got over 49,000 likes on this picture.

Another recent big step in Khate's journey was a post in which the star poses in a bikini where she opens up about gender affirmation surgery and shares a message of body positivity.

"There are barely 10 days left before my shrimp is taken away from me. Finally!!!!! BUT I absolutely wanted to show off my shrimp before it leaves for good! Why? Why?? Because being physically different is no reason to hide it! 👌🏾 I am proud to display a body that corresponds to a minority and brings a touch of hope and "I don't care" to the people who will recognize themselves in it."

Her powerful words went viral. She has continued to be open about her gender affirmation surgery, in which she received vaginoplasty.

According to her Instagram stories, Khate is still in the hospital recovering, but she made sure to let her fans know that everything went well.

Next on Khate's agenda is becoming a collaborator for the talk-show Les Semaines Des 4 Julie, which will begin on January 6, 2020, on V Tele.

The official V Tele Instagram account commented on Khate's photo announcing this news, saying "we can't wait to follow your journey."

Clearly, this is just the beginning of Khate's success, and it's exciting to know that LGBTQ+ voices are becoming more and more heard in our province.

Follow Khate on Instagram here!

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