Home Youth activism Meet Alok V Menon: NowThis Next 2021 Honoree

Meet Alok V Menon: NowThis Next 2021 Honoree

3
0

Throughout history there have always been pioneers and creatives from every generation who have led the world to the brink of historic change through grassroots organization, self-expression, reclamation And much more. Young people have always been the leaders of our movements for change, and here at NowThis we are giving megaphones to change makers around the world.

Alok V Menon is in the 2021 class of NowThis Next winners in the QTBIPOC category. Read Menon’s interview below.

What do you think is the biggest issue or challenge we face with regards to QTBIPOC representation right now?
Very often people tell us that our stories are too “niche” and that the majority of people will not identify with them. We are simply not seen as viable. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: because the powers that be do not invest in us, we remain on the sidelines. This idea – that we are too specific to resonate – is actually at the heart of our continued marginalization. This is not true. What is true is that people don’t believe in and support us.

How to reconcile personal care and activism?
To be honest: I’m not the best at it. I hold myself to an impossible standard. I can be so cruel to myself. This is why my friends are so important. They remind me to calm down and take breaks. Left to myself, I would totally exhaust myself. That’s why I think it’s so important to be in touch with people who take care of you. Not ‘you’ as a list of identities, but ‘you’ as a soul.

How do you deal with hate online?
It is relentless. And frankly: quite terrifying. I hate that the onus is on individuals to fight this, not on social media companies to make their platforms safe for users.

For me, it is a daily practice to choose compassion. People are so attached to information because they are unable to face the reality of their life and the world. As James Baldwin reminds us: people are so attached to hate because they avoid their own pain. A lot of times people take their own insecurities, their own limiting belief systems and throw them out because it’s easier to ridicule people like me than it is to reckon with what we actually say. Do you know who you are apart from what you have been told you should be?

I remember this: that people suffer and make mistakes in hurting others as well as in healing themselves. I find empathy and it becomes the antidote to toxicity. It really makes me feel a lot better.

How do you deal with hate online?
It is relentless. And frankly: quite terrifying. I hate that the onus is on individuals to fight this, not on social media companies to make their platforms safe for users.

For me, it is a daily practice to choose compassion. People are so attached to information because they are unable to face the reality of their life and the world. As James Baldwin reminds us: people are so attached to hate because they avoid their own pain. A lot of times people take their own insecurities, their own limiting belief systems and throw them out because it’s easier to ridicule people like me than it is to reckon with what we actually say. Do you know who you are apart from what you have been told you should be?

I remember this: that people suffer and make mistakes in hurting others as well as in healing themselves. I find empathy and it becomes the antidote to toxicity. It really makes me feel a lot better.

What would you say to someone who identifies as QTBIPOC and is currently fighting harassment?

You are part of a sacred tradition of people like you who have felt the same pain before. I promise you there are people in the world who see you for you. Who believe you, and who love you. You’re not alone.


Source link