Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Writer, Performer & Consultant
Whether ALOK is selling out an international performance tour, publishing essays and books advocating for LGBTQ equality, designing a new fashion collection, 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 gatherings in over 40 countries in the last decade. Read More >
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 collections, 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. For their profound work as an artist-advocate ALOK has been recognized as one of 30 national LGBTQ changemakers by NBC, one of 9 Trans Writers You Should Know by Vogue, and as one of 25 “Doers” by Business Insider.
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.” Read Less ^
The Complicated Reality of Being Trans and Indian-American | Perspectives
All the Bright Places: A Conversation About Mental Health | Netflix
Fashion’s Genderless Future | BOFVoices 2019
The Pain & Empowerment of Choosing Your Own Gender | StyleLikeU
On Creating Safe Spaces for Trans & Non-Conforming People | NBC News
Learning to Love Who They Are | NowThis
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.
In this talk ALOK presents a 21st century approach to gender rights. The gender binary – the idea that there are only two, opposite genders – is a system of power that exists to create conflict and division, not foster creativity and diversity. This false choice of boy or girl, man or woman, male or female is not natural, it is cultural. We deserve more options. Gender diversity is an integral part of our existence. It always has been, and it always will be.
How many of us have used theory to make our feelings more legitimate? How many big words have we developed to keep us from saying "I'm scared?" What happens when we recognize that feelings are already valid unto themselves? In this creative arts workshop we work through jealousy, loneliness, hurt, love, longing, and all the parts of ourselves that are often dismissed and devalued. Together we develop strategies for emotional justice.
In this guided creative workshop participants will go from the page to the stage and back again. ALOK will share best tips and strategies for both amateur and advanced performers to maximize their performance potential. This workshop can be tailored for specific-interest or identity groups: LGBTQ people, LGBTQ people of color, etc.
How can students be in solidarity with social movements happening off campus? How can students more strategically apply political pressure on campus? How can students doing anti-oppression work ensure sustainability and avoid burnout? Integrating both theory and practice this is a tactical workshop for student organizers.
As a trained academic ALOK regularly facilitates undergraduate and graduate seminars and lectures in Women's and Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies, Fashion Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Media Studies, Performance Studies, Political Science, and more. Recent courses they have guest-lectured in include: "Gender and Labor in Contemporary Visual Culture," "Community-based Approaches to Performance," "Queer Fashion," and "Gender and Social Media Curation."
"Working with APB was a seamless process that led to one of the most memorable events our organization has ever hosted. All of the attendees left feeling invigorated, thankful, and a little more whole. Even though the whole process was rather quick—everything happening in about a month—APB was supportive, flexible, and quick to respond. I couldn't have asked for an easier time with planning!"
"Required viewing for the world, Important, powerful…and just funny as hell."
"Phenomenal. A huge hit!"
"Inspiring. One of the best speakers that we have had with authenticity that connected with all of us."
"ALOK’s presence at Lavender Graduation was significant in so many ways. Their performance reminded me how the arts remain a serious and effective catalyst for social change. ALOK’s stories revealed vulnerability, bravery, and ultimately a questioning of the status quo and a look to us as audience members to change the broken systems to which we contribute. Their performance left us both with hope and with a determination to continue to work for inclusion and social justice in the realms where we live and work."
"Alok’s voice is one of a kind and resonates deep in the bones of a person. They speak directly to the life that we want to have and the voices we need to uplift."
“Truly lifesaving work that validates the experiences not only of queer and trans students of color, but of everyone. ALOK is one of the most important artists of our time."
Pride 2020 marks new era for LGBTQ movement, artist Alok Vaid-Menon says
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