HAPPY INTERSEX AWARENESS DAY 2021 EVERYONE!
Today, while in Colorado with our Associate Director Dana Zzyym in anticipation of their receiving the first US passport with an “X” sex marker to represaent that they are not male or female but intersex, our Executive Director, Hida Viloria, participated virtually, by invitation, in a Round Table meeting with a small group of intesex activists and HHS Assistant Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, White House Gender Policy Council Co-Chair Jen Klein, and other White House officials. The meeting was held to discuss intersex issues and needs in honor of Intersex Awareness Day.
During the call, Viloria noted that intersex people are still not spoken about or treated equally, or truly included in equal rights efforts for American citizens. Intersex status is still defined as a “Disorder of Sex Development” (or DSD) by the American Medical Association (AMA), while homosexuality and more recently, transgender status, have been depathologized.
They also pointed out that intersex people are not officlally included by the US government under the LGBT umbrella, although we have succesfully been used to help the fight for LGBT rights in the cases of marriage equality and gender recognition. In 2014, an CA Prop 208 – intersex Amicus Brief – Nieto (by bioloogy shcolar and professor Dr. Maria Nieto), was used to debunk the “marriage is between a man and a woman” messaging used in California’s anti-marriage equality Proposition 208.
One year later, on Intersex Awareness Day 2015, our Associate Director, Dana Zzyym, with with IC4E’s support and representation by Lambda Legal, filed a groundbreaking lawsuit for third sex/gender recognition for both intersex and non-binary American citizens, on passports, via an “X” marker. This lawsuit inspired and prompted state-wide efforts for X sex/gender markers on driver’s licenses, with over twenty states to date offering X sex/gender markers, and non-binary trans citizens benefitting by having the ability to have their gender identity accurately recognized. Note: we use “sex/gender markers” bnecause “sex” markers on IDs have always represented both sex and gender as, historically and currently, some intersex people’s visual appearqance of gender, rather than their scientifically determined bioligical sex, is used to report “sex” on birth certificates.
Viloria called on the Biden-Harris Administration to add the “I” to the LGBTQ community as, they noted, many other nations have already done in order to help end the severe discrimination that we face. They pointed out that just like other members of the LGBT community, the discimination that intersex people face is due to our nonadherence to sex and gender norms.
We thank the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and all WHite House staff involved in making today’s Intersex Round Table meeting possible, for the invitiation to advocate for equality for intersex citizens. We hope that our recommednations will be implemented, and we thank all who will be working to do so, and for equality for intersex Americans!