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Alok Vaid-Menon    

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

ALOK (they/them) is an internationally acclaimed gender non-conforming writer, performer, and public speaker. They are the author of "Femme in Public" (2017) and "Beyond the Gender Binary" (2020). They are the creator of #DeGenderFashion: a movement to degender fashion and beauty industries. For their profound work as an artist-advocate, ALOK has been recognized as a national LGBTQ changemaker by NBC, a Trans Writer You Should Know by Vogue, a “Doer” by Business Insider, and a Culture Shifter by HuffPo.

Whether ALOK is selling out an international performance tour, publishing essays and books advo-cating for LGBTQ equality or speaking at some of the most prestigious universities outlining a 21st century approach to gender rights –their distinctive mix of charisma, poetry, and intellect has made them one of the most dynamic artists of our times. ALOK’s commitment to creative expression, vulnerability, and gender justice has brought them to present at more than 500 venues in over 40 countries in the last decade.

As a mixed-media artist ALOK uses poetry, comedy, lecture, performance, fashion design, and visual art to explore themes of gender, race, trauma, belonging, and the human condition. Their work as a leading figure in the movement for gender fluidity takes them from starring in HBO’s "The Trans List" (2016) and "Random Acts of Flyness" (2018), to designing three gender-neutral fashion collec-tions, to modeling for New York Fashion Week and Vogue editorials, and to gracing the stages of venues such as Beautycon, the New York Times Global Assembly, and SXSW to speak about overcoming marginalization and self-acceptance.

ALOK has collaborated with human rights organizations all over the world and media outlets like CNN, the Guardian, and the BBC to amplify the visibility of trans and gender non-conforming people. In 2017 they released their critically-acclaimed poetry collection Femme In Public, a meditation on anti-trans discrimination.

2017 also saw ALOK being selected as the youngest recipient of the Live Works Performance Act Award, granted to ten performance artists across the world. In 2019 ALOK was invited to close the Business of Fashion Voices Conference with a keynote speech calling for the degendering of fashion and beauty industries. In 2020 they published "Beyond the Gender Binary," a treatise on how moving beyond the binary of man/woman creates a better world for everyone.

ALOK is a dynamic and seasoned presenter who excels in tailoring their message to their audience from college students to corporate boardrooms. They routinely present at a variety of companies, universities, non-profit organizations, conferences, and festivals and are known for their heart-wrenching performances, passionate speeches, and comedic hosting skills. Atlanta-based company Mailchimp calls Alok’s talk “required viewing for the world” and Cornell University uplifts Alok’s presentation as “truly life-saving work.”

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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