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Alok Vaid-Menon    

Gender Non-Conforming Writer, Performance Artist, LGBTQ Rights Activist

ALOK (they/ them) is an internationally acclaimed author, poet, comedian, and public speaker. As a mixed-media artist their work explores themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They are the author of “Femme in Public” (2017), “Beyond the Gender Binary” (2020), and “Your Wound/ My Garden” (2021) and the creator of #DeGenderFashion: an initiative to degender fashion and beauty industries. In recognition of their work, they have been honored as the inaugural LGBTQ Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania and awarded a GLAAD Media Award and Stonewall Foundation Visionary Award.

Over the past decade, they have toured in more than 40 countries, most recently selling out their runs at the Soho Theatre in London, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Kennedy Performing Arts Center. Their show has been described as "provocative and powerful" (CHORTLE), a "potent combination of comedy and poetry" (THE SCOTSMAN), and a "Jaw-dropping celestial event" (TO DO LIST LONDON).

On screen, they will make their feature film debut in Absolute Dominion opposite Patton Oswalt and next can be seen in Emmie Lichtenberg’s film Complicated Order opposite Midori Francis. On television, they have appeared on Hulu’s “Planet Sex” with Cara Delevingne, ABC’s “PRIDE: To Be Seen – A Soul of A Nation,” Netflix’s “Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness,” HBO’s “Random Acts of Flyness” and “The Trans List.”

Speech Topics

Keynotes, Endowed Lectures & Commencement Addresses

ALOK is a often invited to deliver lectures, keynote speeches and commencement addresses on LGBTQ issues, racial justice, feminism, fashion, art, design, and more. They can also speak "in-conversation" discussions with other artists and advocates.

Beyond the Gender Binary

In this performance-lecture ALOK presents a 21st century approach to gender rights, calling for an end to the gender binary. The gender binary -- the maintenance of two separate and opposite genders -- is a system of power that exists to create conflict and division. This false choice of boy or girl, man or woman, male or female is not natural -- it is political. We deserve more options. Gender diversity is an integral part of our existence. It always has been, and it always will be.

Femme in Public

What feminine part of yourself did you have to destroy in order to survive in this world? At what point does femininity become synonymous with apology? Who hurt the people who hurt you? ALOK is trying to figure it out. Join for an evening of poetry, stand-up comedy, drag, and more as they take their audience on an emotional roller coaster all the way from the personal to the political.

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