Vivek Shraya is an award-winning author, musician, visual artist, and associate professor at University of Calgary — among other things. In 2017, she recorded an album, Part-Time Woman, and in 2018, published her book I'm Afraid of Men, a memoir about her life focusing on her experiences dealing with toxic masculinity, homophobia, and transphobia both as a queer boy and a trans woman. Since then, she's become a MAC cosmetics ambassador and created a graphic novel, Death Threat, based on the transphobic hate mail she's received. Shraya continues to push boundaries and fight for equality and acceptance of all people. That's why she's included in this special edition of Bustle's Must Follow, in which we highlight the incredible Asian American and Pacific Islander voices you need to follow on Instagram and Twitter.
Describe yourself in one line, including how you identify and what you do.
I am a multidisciplinary artist.
What do you hope people take away from following you/your work in the industry and on social media?
I make art to inspire, to challenge, to comfort, and discomfort.
When did you first feel that you were a voice for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community?
I try not to speak on behalf of any group, to avoid perpetuating any monolithic assumptions, but I am grateful to be part of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
Who's another Asian American or Pacific Islander person you would recommend to follow on social media?
Follow Vivek Shraya on Instagram, @VivekShraya
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.