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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Globally recognized trans femme author, poet, comedian ALOK comes to Comedy Club

Artist, writer and comedian Alok Vaid-Menon, pictured Nov. 9, 2021, uses their work to redefine beauty standards, examine colonialism and explore fluid identity. “I’m kind of ambivalent about form and I’m more invested in flow,” Vaid-Menon told the New York Times. Vaid-Menon will be at the Spokane Comedy Club for one night on Thursday.  (JOSEFINA SANTOS/New York Times)

“Transfeminine” author, poet and comedian Alok Vaid-Menon is making a one-night appearance at the Spokane Comedy Club next week.

The nonbinary activist and performer, who uses they/them pronouns and goes by the stage name ALOK – yes, with all capital letters – has been described in a review by the United Kingdom publication Chortle as one who “flips societal structures on their head” by arguing that “society should be protected from the hetero, white, cis ‘men in pants,’ who the performer sees as an ever-dwindling constituency whose crackpot ideas put children and free expression at risk.”

Growing up as an Indian American in Texas who identifies as trans femme, Vaid-Menon speaks out about gender and sexuality on and off the stage, and sees art’s intersection with politics as a response to societal influences and change.

In an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 2018, Vaid-Menon described art as something to “where we go when we actually want truth.”

For Vaid-Menon, the human body and individual expression is itself an artform, telling the Tribune, “artists only matter as long as their aesthetics can be stolen from them and repurposed, with the art itself replaced” with artists as the “vanguards of political and social change.”

Vaid-Menon has published “Femme in Public,” “Beyond the Gender Binary” and “Your Wound/My Garden,” has been honored as the inaugural LGBTQ Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania, and awarded the GLAAD Media Award and Stonewall Foundation Visionary Award. Touring nationally and internationally, Vaid-Menon has sold out several shows. The performer can be seen in their feature film debut in “Absolute Dominion,” appearing alongside Patton Oswalt, and has made appearances on TV shows “Planet Sex” with Cara Delevigne, “PRIDE: To Be Seen – a Soul of a Nation,” “Getting Curious” with Jonathan Van Ness of “Queer Eye,” “Random Acts of Flyness” and “The Trans List.”