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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
  • . bbb
    22-Jun-2017 03:42:14 AM
  • 7
    22-Jun-2017 03:42:24 AM
  • Pride month (I think)
    22-Jun-2017 04:21:57 AM
  • J adore
    22-Jun-2017 06:22:04 AM
  • Прошу помощи подпишитесь на мой аккаунт
    22-Jun-2017 08:17:24 AM
  • WTF???
    22-Jun-2017 08:46:23 AM
  • hahahahahhahahaah
    22-Jun-2017 09:24:41 AM
  • Haha
    22-Jun-2017 09:54:56 AM
  • 🤣
    22-Jun-2017 10:02:25 AM
  • Haha
    22-Jun-2017 11:48:29 AM
  • Lol ur wired That just not right
    22-Jun-2017 12:15:33 PM
  • WTF? is orrible😂😂😂
    22-Jun-2017 13:30:30 PM
  • Live and let live 😊
    22-Jun-2017 13:31:38 PM
  • Wtf 😂😂😂 this is funny af I didn't even read it
    22-Jun-2017 13:47:50 PM
  • hahaha you so funny
    22-Jun-2017 14:02:00 PM
  • 😀😀
    22-Jun-2017 14:23:59 PM
  • Bit weird but okay
    22-Jun-2017 17:41:27 PM
  • Me parece que es hay
    22-Jun-2017 18:45:35 PM
  • 😂😂😂
    22-Jun-2017 18:57:28 PM
  • gay
    22-Jun-2017 18:57:28 PM
  • @gaellegbeily ouuuu so hot😂😂😂😂
    22-Jun-2017 19:11:52 PM
  • Wow u look so beautifull
    22-Jun-2017 19:17:56 PM
  • gt
    22-Jun-2017 19:22:04 PM
  • iti sta bine cu ruj
    22-Jun-2017 19:50:15 PM
  • I'm just trying not to laugh 😂
    22-Jun-2017 19:54:46 PM
  • # pulsenightclubwasasuccess
    22-Jun-2017 20:19:20 PM
  • MAC Heroine? @alokvmenon 💄💅🏾
    22-Jun-2017 20:55:32 PM
  • Palyaço
    22-Jun-2017 21:50:30 PM
  • 😂😂😂😂😂😂
    22-Jun-2017 22:22:53 PM
  • What in the he'll is wrong with you😂😂😂😂
    22-Jun-2017 22:36:51 PM
  • Worse than McDonald's WiFi
    22-Jun-2017 22:52:03 PM
  • 😂😂😂😂
    22-Jun-2017 22:58:07 PM
  • YAS!
    22-Jun-2017 23:30:09 PM
  • 😂😂😂
    23-Jun-2017 00:39:59 AM
  • scrolling through this acc and i'm so proud to see this. i checked his ig and he has a tamil queer friend. so happy to see them accepting themselves. @aksharagunda
    23-Jun-2017 01:17:40 AM
  • Hullo all the people muslims and oethers
    23-Jun-2017 01:19:33 AM
  • What is better than musslimes and onther peoples
    23-Jun-2017 01:22:06 AM
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