Rad Reading: Q & A by Alok Vaid-Menon

by Abaki Beck 

Text: Q&A

Author: Alok Vaid-Menon (you may know Alok as half of the poetry duo DarkMatter)

Quote to Highlight: "Sometimes I wonder who I could have been, who we could have been, if we had a world that didn’t require us to destroy our queer child in order to get “here.” When I look at a movement that so desperately hungers for recognition from the military, from the state, from the very people who disown us I understand that we are grieving...When I look at a movement that does so much violence to other people and calls it “progress,” and “equality,” and “love,” I understand that we are grieving."

Quick Summary: This beautifully written essay is about  Alok’s experiences with misgendering and other violences towards non-binary people. It also raises important questions: from whom do queer people seek recognition and why? Why is being “recognized” by the government - or someone in power -  a measure of success of the movement?

File it under: Personal is political, self love, trans/non-binary lives, combating heterosexism, community

Type of text: Personal essay, lyrical/creative non-fiction


POC Online Classroom strives to make social justice readings and resources accessible - with particular focus on the knowledge of people of color and other marginalized communities. Rad Reading is a new series that will give readers a quick idea of each text before they delve into it. We will post every Tuesday and Thursday. This is one of the first in the series, but we hope to have one for every resource on the website in the future. Stay tuned!

Abaki Beck