When a child is born and defined as ‘male’ or ‘female’, a whole narrative is laid out about how they should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear and how they express themselves. But whether the category of ‘male’ or ‘female’ is imposed or chosen, this limits us to a false binary and the punishment of nonconformity creates an inseparable link between gender and shame. Performance artist, writer and comedian Alok Vaid-Menon challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full colour. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist, they show us that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression. The only limit is your imagination.
ALOK (they/them) is an internationally acclaimed writer, comedian, poet, and public speaker whose work explores themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition. They headlined the New York Comedy Festival in 2021, recently headlined the Just for Laughs Festival in Vancouver in May 2022, and will have a sold-out run at the Soho Theatre in London in July 2022. They are the author of Beyond the Gender Binary (2020) which has been described as a “clarion call for a new approach to gender in the 21st century” and the poetry books Femme in Public (2017) and Your Wound / My Garden (2021). On screen, they will next appear in the Netflix feature film ABSOLUTE DOMINION and can also be seen in the Netflix docu-series Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness, HBO’s late-night sketch series Random Acts of Flyness and the documentary The Trans List. They also have revered interviews on podcasts like Glennon Doyle’s We Can Do Hard Things and The Man Enough Podcast. Accolades include NBC’s Pride 50 list of influential change-makers in the LGBTQ community, HuffPo’s Culture Shifters, and Business Insider’s Doers.
Narelda Jacobs is a Whadjuk Noongar presenter from Boorloo/Perth. Her career at Network 10 has spanned more than two decades, starting in the Perth newsroom in 2000 before heading to Sydney in January 2020 to co-host Studio 10 and continue presenting 10 News First Perth. Narelda is a regular at NITV and SBS, co-hosting Mardi Gras, The Point and the January 26 Sunrise Ceremony. Narelda has appeared on The Project, Q+A and stages across Australia introducing Prime Ministers, international leaders and humanitarian advocates. Narelda is passionate about promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and is on the board of The Walkley Foundation, Dame Changer and Welcome to Country. She is on the Football Federation of Australia’s Indigenous Advisory Committee and is a patron of Motor Neurone Disease Association WA, WA Aboriginal Leadership Institute, The Pinnacle Foundation and Deadly Science.