K+L originally spoke to Alok Vaid Menon about two years ago — or, in 2020 terms, a lifetime ago — and it continues to be a relevant and important conversation for us to share. There are few people who have had such a lasting impact, not just from the show but from life. K+L left this conversation feeling more human, more connected, more aware of how they affect others: exactly what our world desperately needs more of right now. Alok also recently released a book, “Beyond the Gender Binary,” which shows that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression only limited by your creativity. So, to celebrate the book and this beautiful, powerful, kind, and heart-centered soul, we wanted to share the conversation again.
We also talk about:
- The ins and outs of your passion being your business
- Growing up (emotionally repressed) in a small Texas town
- Southern “politeness”
- Balancing being a strong example for others + being a complex, flawed human
- Why it hurts when we turn someone into a metaphor and a symbol
- Visibility does not mean safety for women and trans people
- Where Alok developed their emotional vocabulary
- Gender + shame
- Learning not to fear their own gender nonconformity
- The psychology of fascism
- Why Alok is frustrated by the individualism of self-care
- The people who bully us want to be us
- Aesthetics as political resistance
- Violence against gender non-conforming individuals has escalated over the past few years
- What we can all do, every day, to challenge the current paradigm
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Almost 30 is edited by Crate Media