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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
  • 😍😍😍✨✨✨ 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
  • @alias2k_ 😂😂😂😂😂😂
    14-Nov-2017 11:53:51 AM
  • Lmfaoooo
    14-Nov-2017 11:55:59 AM
  • Weird
    19-Nov-2017 14:12:46 PM
  • Boi, you ain't a different gender, you're not special, you can't choose who you are, you aren't a super unique person.
    20-Nov-2017 06:46:27 AM
  • You are just a man who is
    20-Nov-2017 06:46:37 AM
  • G A Y
    20-Nov-2017 06:46:41 AM
  • 😞disease
    21-Nov-2017 22:23:27 PM
  • Yes good hhhhhh
    05-Dec-2017 10:32:46 AM
  • 😂😂😂😂😂
    06-Dec-2017 09:44:30 AM
  • خخخخخخخ
    08-Dec-2017 19:44:03 PM
  • Придурок
    09-Dec-2017 18:41:23 PM
  • Pagal
    13-Dec-2017 02:31:30 AM
  • Vo ac qua!
    15-Dec-2017 12:39:41 PM
  • Gender-nonconforming? Also Allahu-Ackbar
    16-Dec-2017 20:24:17 PM
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