Alt-right activist appears after a year offline

There were protests when Lauren Southern came to Australia on a speaking tour as the bright new poster-girl of the so-called alt-right movement, but shortly after she seemingly vanished from public life altogether.

In June last year she announced her retirement from political activism on her website with a brief note.

She stated that her reasons for leaving were that she needed to move on and find fulfilment in a more private capacity.

However, overnight she has reappeared in a YouTube video and she appears to have undergone a change of heart from her hard-right political past.

The woman who arrived in Sydney in an “it’s okay to be white” T-shirt and handed out handed out flyers that stated “Allah is a gay God” and “Allah is trans” in the UK now describes herself as a centrist, who refuses to pick sides.

In her video, she said she withdrew from the public eye when she found out she was pregnant. She wanted to raise her son away from her media life, some of which she said had become “toxic”.

While doing so she said she “realigned” her beliefs — pulling herself away from her previous hard line stances.

In May 2019, Southern released a YouTube documentary, Borderless, about the refugee and migrant crisis.

She said in her YouTube video that, during the filming of the documentary, that the story wasn’t one-sided. There were stories worth telling from both sides of the political spectrum.

“You need full pictures to come to meaningful and insightful conclusions,” she said.

“A big way that I’ve changed personally and one of the best things I’ve learned is with a sense of I don’t know everything.”

RELATED: Lauren Southern insults Melbourne, city fires back

She said the partisan nature of political debates on mainstream and social media have prompted her to make a comeback.

“We have got way to much egotistical certainty in media and that is something I seek to pull myself away from,” she said.

She said she souldn’t be aligning herself with the right any more and seeking truths in her work rather than picking sides.

“I’ve taken the real-life pill,” she said. “I think people are multidimensional, complex beings and they are worthy of trying to understand.

“You can’t sum them up in a tweet you found six years ago or as a race or a gender, which too often polarising internet communities try to do.”

Her realignment however has been treated with suspicion from prominent right-wing figures.

YouTuber Paul Joseph Watson took aim at Southern calling her “inauthentic” and accusing her of jumping ship when other right-wingers were being deplatformed.

“Right-wing YouTuber suddenly ‘returns’ claiming to be a ‘nuanced centrist’ having disappeared at the exact point where everyone else was f**ked over & banned for the last 18 months,” he tweeted.

Others have suggested she is simply trying to brush off her unsavoury stunts and view in the past.

Southern said her “Allah is trans” stunt was a “social experiment”. She also courted controversy by holding up a sign stating “There is no rape culture in the west” at a ‘SlutWalk’ protest march in British Columbia calling for an end to rape culture.

She was suspended as a candidate of Canada’s Libertarian Party after the incident.

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