Alok Vaid-Menon Finds Magnificence Past Gender

Surname: Alok Vaid-Menon

age: 30

Hometown: College Station, Texas

Now lives: In a sunny 2-room apartment with lots of storage space in Uptown Manhattan with a roommate.

Right to fame: Mx. Vaid-Menon is a gender neutral artist, writer and comedian who redefines standards of beauty with her work, examines colonialism and explores a fluid identity. “The word ‘artist’ means possibility, not limitation,” they said. “That means I’m rather ambivalent about the shape and invested more in flow.” Mx. Vaid-Menon explores ideas through poetry and non-fiction, but also through fashion, virtual book clubs and live performances.

Big break: This summer, Mx. Vaid-Menon appeared on Man Enough, a podcast that explores what masculinity is; previous guests were Shawn Mendes and Matthew McConaughey. At a memorable moment, Mx. Vaid-Menon asked the cisgender hosts, including Justin Baldoni and Jamey Heath, to consider whether they were “ready for the cure”. “That’s the thing people say to me when they spot me on the street now – ‘I loved your podcast interview,'” they said. “It’s just so surreal to me because it’s something I’ve been saying and doing for over a decade.”

Latest project: Mx. Vaid-Menon headlined the New York Comedy Festival last month, including two shows on November 13th. Vaid-Menon said. “Some of my favorite comedians are black, indigenous, colored and transsexual because we know humor is not about lightness. In a world that is committed to making life difficult, there is something bold and beautiful about insisting on maintaining one’s humor and joy. “

Next thing: This month, Mx. Vaid-Menon self-publishes a volume of poetry called “Your Wound / My Garden”. “At the beginning of my career, it was really important to me to describe the type of wound I had in the world,” said Mx. Vaid-Menon said. “I paid so much attention to the way I was discriminated against that I forgot to pay attention to the way I was already free.

Eyes on the price: Fashion plays an important role in Mx. Vaid-Menon’s presentation, which often combines traditionally feminine shapes like bras and skirts with clothing that defies gender categories. Same goes for her hairstyle. “For me, beauty is what the natural alignment of the universe returns to,” Mx. Vaid-Menon said.

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