UPenn Hires ‘Non-Binary Transfeminine’ Fashion Model As LGBTQ Scholar With Anonymous $2 Million Gift

The University of Pennsylvania named “non-binary transfeminine person” Alok Vaid-Menon as an LGBTQ Scholar in Residence.

The Ivy League school announced on Monday that the new residency, which is the first in the nation dedicated solely to “championing LGBTQ+ communities and scholarship,” was made possible through an “anonymous” $2 million donation.

“It’s a profound honor to be the Inaugural LGBTQ+ Scholar in Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. In the face of escalating malalignment we see a widening chasm between the reality of LGBTQ+ lives and the misrepresentation of our communities in media and society,” Vaid-Menon said in a statement. “As LGBTQ+ scholars and artists we must continue to debunk anti-LGBTQ+ misinformation while also harnessing the power of LGBTQ+ storytelling to create a more inclusive and magnificent world. I’m looking forward to connecting with Penn students, faculty, and staff to celebrate the living poetry of our existence in these turbulent times.”

Vaid-Menon was identified as a “non-binary transfeminine person” who uses “they/them” pronouns in an interview with The Caravan. A websitebelonging to the incoming Ivy League scholar identifies Vaid-Menon as an “internationally acclaimed author, poet, comedian, and public speaker” who explores “themes of trauma, belonging, and the human condition.” Vaid-Menon has received awards from prominent LGBTQ organizations such as GLAAD and the Stonewall Foundation.

Wharton School of Business by Nishant Khurana is licensed under flickr Creative Commons

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