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“Every day I have to ask myself, ‘Am I ready to get harassed today?’” says Alok Vaid-Menon ( @alokvmenon), a gender-nonconforming writer and performance artist based in New York City. “When I’m walking down the street, everyone knows I’m queer. I visibly defy what it means to be a man or a woman.” Raised in a conservative town in Texas, Alok soon realized that a refusal to choose one category to fit into meant being ostracized not only by mainstream society, but also from within the LGBTQ community. “I’ve had so many people tell me, ‘Maybe if you just took hormones or tried to look more like a woman, you wouldn’t experience so much violence,’” says Alok. “But I shouldn’t have to change what I look like to be safe.” Traveling the world as an educator and poet, Alok remains playful and upbeat, indulging in a love for fashion by taking selfies stripped down to sports bras or dolled up in frilly gowns. “I could try to disappear, to dress like a boy or a girl,” says Alok, “but this is about creating a world where when people are different, we say, ‘That’s awesome. Thank you for showing me a different way of living.’” It’s June, and in many countries that means it’s time to celebrate #Pride2017. All month long, we’ll be sharing stories from diverse LGBTQ community members from around the world, like Alok. Watch our Instagram story now to join Alok for a day leading up to a performance. Photo of @alokvmenon by @elif___kucuk

Comments
  • 😂😂😂
    04-Aug-2017 17:11:35 PM
  • 😂
    05-Aug-2017 22:48:01 PM
  • 😂😂
    06-Aug-2017 08:21:17 AM
  • A beautiful human being is wht I see😊❤
    07-Aug-2017 19:03:04 PM
  • @faraidwn_anwar_ am tayra pewisty ba pyaweki wakw janabta
    11-Aug-2017 21:36:25 PM
  • 😭
    12-Aug-2017 15:44:44 PM
  • beauty boy😂😂😂
    13-Aug-2017 11:07:36 AM
  • God bless america🇺🇸
    14-Aug-2017 00:56:30 AM
  • @derrivve @melvin_thilos @nadira_jesifa 😒😒😒 he's expressing himself which not Alot of people have the courage to do which I think is amazing 😄❤
    14-Aug-2017 15:27:15 PM
  • 😍😍😍✨✨✨ I love people like him😊😊😊😊
    19-Aug-2017 13:41:04 PM
  • 💚💛💛💚💚💜💜💛💛
    24-Aug-2017 18:46:31 PM
  • Heeeeyyy you.....
    25-Aug-2017 08:39:07 AM
  • Kya lag rha he 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😄😂😂😂😂😂😂
    28-Aug-2017 16:45:09 PM
  • Whos the makeup artist?
    06-Sep-2017 07:57:35 AM
  • Whattttttt but worth it bros
    08-Sep-2017 15:10:16 PM
  • crazy ..not humanity
    08-Sep-2017 17:09:59 PM
  • Nice shot 👌
    11-Sep-2017 11:21:03 AM
  • Inspiring @alokvmenon
    12-Sep-2017 00:04:41 AM
  • Ты галубой?
    18-Sep-2017 11:28:16 AM
  • hamsi baraqsizdir tiula getsin
    18-Sep-2017 19:57:14 PM
  • 😂😂😂😂
    20-Sep-2017 20:07:49 PM
  • Funny
    21-Sep-2017 21:43:19 PM
  • 😘😘😘
    25-Sep-2017 15:06:34 PM
  • доча постаралась видимо
    27-Sep-2017 09:20:58 AM
  • Lol this is stupid
    04-Oct-2017 17:12:53 PM
  • Trans
    13-Oct-2017 04:12:35 AM
  • 😁👌
    15-Oct-2017 08:13:21 AM
  • واني تجنن عادك نسيت المكياج😤
    20-Oct-2017 06:42:29 AM
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