Happy Chinese New Year: New Campaign, New Associate Director

2015 is the Year of the Wood Goat, a “year to develop a wild heart, open to love and acceptance on all levels”, and in this vein, we are thrilled to announce a new campaign for human rights by and for intersex people, co-founded by intersex activists Dani Lee Harris, Hida Viloria, and Dana Zzyym. The Intersex Campaign for Equality is a mutli-gender, multi-orientation, multi-race, multi-class campaign working for civil rights and protections– such as bodily integrity, self determination, legal recognition and de-pathologization of intersex traits and nonbinary identities — for all intersex people.

We are also very pleased to announce that Dana Zzyym, OII-USA’s Rocky Mountain Regional Representative, is taking over the position of Associate Director for Claudia Astorino. Dzyym is a disabled Navy Veteran and nonbinary intersex human rights activist who uses the gender-neutral pronouns “they”, “them” and “their”. Zzyym was subjected to IGM at the age of 5 and 6, and says, “I was fine until I got cut, that’s when I became disordered.” Dana has participated in over 75 panel discussions on the topic of intersex, held Intersex Awareness Day events, and hosted an Intersex Support group in Fort Collins, CO. In 2012, Zzyym represented OII-USA and intersex people and issues at the White House LGBT Health Conference in Philadelphia. Zzyym continues to educate and advocate for human rights for intersex people, particularly intersex infants’ and minors’ right to bodily integrity and self determination.

We wish Claudia Astorino all the best as she steps down to pursue the demands of her academic career, and thank her for her outstanding contributions to OII-USA! Claudia was lead author (with Viloria as co-uthor) of the Brief Guidelines for Intersex Allies (October, 2012), which provides a pioneering perspective– in terms of diversity and equality — on who we are and the issues we face. It has become a well-established resource for the intersex community, which has since been adapted by OII Australia in conjunction with LGBTI organization ACON. Astorino has contributed in immeasurable ways to intersex visibility and equality through her insights, essays and presentations, and we look forward to her continued contributions to the community.