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Promoting human rights and equality for all intersex people through arts, education and action.

Meet The Team

 

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Hida Viloria

Founder and Executive Director

Hida (pronounced “Heeda”) Viloria is a queer Latinx human rights activist, author, and founding director of The Intersex Campaign for Equality. As one of the world’s first openly intersex and non-binary individuals, Viloria has advocated for LGBTQI rights as a frequent lecturer (Stanford, Princeton, Columbia…) and consultant (United Nations, Lambda Legal, Human Rights Watch, Williams Institute…). In addition, s/he has been in the forefront of intersex and non-binary visibility and education, reaching over 100 million viewers and listeners across the globe via venues including NPR, BBC News, Oprah, Aljazeera, 20/20,, and more, and countless readers as one the most extensively published writers on intersex issues (The Daily Beast, OUT, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Advocate, Ms., CNN.com, The American Journal of Bioethics…).

In 2010, as Human Rights Spokesperson for the Organisation Intersex International (OII), the world’s first international intersex organization, Viloria lobbied on behalf of intersex athlete Caster Semenya and all intersex women athletes like her at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting of experts on the issue in Lausanne, Switzerland. There, Viloria advanced the arguments, widely echoed by academics and others today, that: a.) the fact that numerous female athletes with no functional testosterone (as occurs in women with Complete Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome) have become elite Olympic athletes is evidence that testosterone is not a determining factor in athletic performance; and b. requiring intersex women with naturally occurring high levels of testosterone to lower them with medically unnecessary hormones therapy is both medically unsubstantiated and founded on gender based discrimination against their masculine secondary sex characteristics. S/he has also published extensively, in the American Journal of Bioethics and elsewhere, on the issue of discrimination against intersex female athletes.

In 2012, as president elect of OII, Viloria authored the first unified call for human rights for intersex persons, signed by all leading intersex organizations and submitted to the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (UN OHCHR) on Human Rights Day. In 2013, s/he was honored for he/r pioneering advocacy by becoming the first intersex person to speak, by invitation, at the United Nations. In 2017 s/he became the recipient of the nation’s second intersex birth certificate, and he/r memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life (Hachette Books) was released to praise by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, NPR, Psychology Today, and more, and selected as one of People magazine’s best new books and School Library Journal’s 10 Best Adults Books for Teens.

The first generation child of Venezuelan and Colombian immigrant parents, Viloria was born with genital variance and considers he/rself blessed not to have been subjected to harmful, medically unnecessary infant genital surgeries, a.k.a. Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM), to make her body typically female. S/he has a degree with high honors and high distinction in Gender and Sexuality from the University of California at Berkeley, and lives in Santa Fe, NM.

Follow Viloria on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @hidaviloria, or on the web at HidaViloria.com.
Watch a 3:44 minute video of some of Hida’s best media appearances here.
 
Contact Hida at: hida@hidaviloria.com
 

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Dana Zzyym

Associate Director

Dana Zzyym is a disabled Navy Veteran (3 tours Beirut Lebanon), and intersex human rights activist who uses the gender neutral “they”, “them” and “their” pronouns. On Intersex Awareness Day, October 26th, 2015, Dana Zzyym announced, with Lambda Legal –– the nation’s oldest, largest, LGBTI civil rights organization — as their legal representative, that they are suing the United States State Department for denying them a passport that accurately identifies their sex/gender as neither male nor female (we not the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably in law, and that both Dana’s sex and gender are non-binary). We are extremely grateful to Dana for initiating this historic U.S. lawsuit, and fighting for intersex people to be legally recognized in the United States.

Zzyym was subjected to Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM) at the age of 5 and 6, and says, “I was fine until I got cut, that’s when I became disordered…”. Since deciding to live openly as an intersex person, Zzyym has participated in over 75 panel discussions on the topic of intersex, and held Intersex Awareness Day (October 26th) events at Colorado State University in 2009 and 2011. In addition, Dana hosted an Intersex Support group in Fort Collins CO. with the Lambda C.C. and Center for Northern CO. In 2012, Zzyym represented OII-USA and intersex people and issues, at the White House LGBT Health Conference in Philadelphia, where they held an Intersex 101 presentation and Q&A. They also discussed the need for intersex representation, protections, and equal rights with representative of the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Health and Human Services Department. Most recently, Dana participated in the Genital Autonomy 2014 Symposium in Boulder CO, and they will be volunteering for the Gay & Lesbian Task Force’s Creating Change Conference in Denver, CO, in February, 2015. Dana has a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from Colorado State University and lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Contact Dana at: dzzyym@msn.com

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Dr. Dani Lee Harris

Southeast Regional Representative

Dr. Dani Lee Harris was born on March 28, 1973, in the Bronx, New York, and raised, with four siblings, by a single mother in the impoverished Johnson Projects in Harlem NY. Dani did not undergo IGM (Intersex Genital Mutilation) as a child, and was unaware that they are intersex. They excelled in school, making it an escape from the harsh surroundings of everyday life growing up on welfare. Dani learned early on that life can be cruel, facing alcoholism, physical abuse and anger on a daily basis. Later, after having watched their own father slice their mother’s neck, Dani dealt with constant adversity being shuffled through the foster care system before being reunited, at the age of 15, with their mother and siblings under the same roof. Fighting anger, resentment and depression, Dani moved out of their mother’s home at the age of 16. At the age of 17, during their last year of high school, Dani’s mother passed away from Lupus after being diagnosed with AIDS, and Dani and their older sister decided to raise the younger siblings and shed them from further foster care living. At the age of 24, Dani almost became a statistic after being shot in the face at point blank range. The shooting pushed Dani to a life-time low, but Dani made a turnaround, bouncing back from the despair to join the law enforcement community and become a productive citizen.

Dani obtained an associate’s degree in 2002, and after taking a five year break in education, returned to school to obtain Bachelors of Science, Masters of Human Resource Management, and Doctorate of Business Administration degrees. In 2008, Dani discovered that they are Intersex. This was liberating for Dani, as it enabled all the missing pieces in their life to “fit”. The discovery led to local news reports and presentations.
Dani found passion in motivating and encouraging others, and has been invited to speak on LGBTI issues at local law enforcement agencies, universities and churches. Dani’s work in the Black Southern Baptist community has led to greater acceptance of the entire LGBTI population. As they stared in a interview, Dani’s had deep conversations with pastors struggling with the idea of homosexuality, who when they learn that Dani is intersex — a biological condition — consider that perhaps sexual orientation and gender identity are also biological, which facilitates their acceptance of LGBT, as well as “I” (Intersex), people.

Facing adversity as a member of multiple minority communities, Dani lives to show others how to find inner peace in the midst of personal storms, and how to find their personal passion and serve others in order to live a complete and fulfilled life. By never giving up, but rather turning life trials into testimonies about hope, determination, and self-belief, Dani found a gift in motivating people to look at life from a different perspective than the one that is handed to them. Dani’s motto, “Life is truly what you make it,” has given them the courage to face tribulations and strife and turn them into victorious moments of life. For example, in 2009, Dani was honored as Grand Marshall of Atlanta’s Pride Parade, becoming the first openly intersex person to lead a Pride Parade, and in 2010, Dani’s inspiringly proud intersex perspective was included in the award-winning documentary, “Intersexion”. Dani recently published their timely book, Knowledge is Power: What everyone should know about the Police! (available at www.drdanileeharris.org), and continues educating on multiple topics and advocating for human rights and acceptance of LGBTI communities.

 

Vickie Boisseau

New England Regional Director

Elder A. Vickie Boisseau, CPF is the New England Director of the Intersex Campaign for Equality, a.k.a. OII-USA, the American affiliate of the Organization Intersex International (OII). Herm is a public speaker and lecturer on intersex issues and transgender education to the public in universities, colleges and hospitals across the country. Herm is a human rights activist/advocate and facilitator of intersex/transgender support groups in and around Worcester MA. Herm is the author of Born Purple and wrote the Christian chapter about intersex and eunuch in the book “Hermaphrodites 2nd Edition” consolidated by Raven Kaldera. Herm is a Peer Support Specialist and is working with The Genesis Club part of the International Club House Association. Herm is also pursuing a non-binary passport and working with Senator Warren of Massachusetts to do so.

 

A.J. Odasso

Co-Editor, Intersex Quarterly

A.J. Odasso’s poetry has appeared in a variety of publications, including Sybil’s Garage, Mythic Delirium, Midnight Echo, Not One of Us, Dreams & Nightmares, Goblin Fruit, Strange Horizons, Stone Telling, Farrago’s Wainscot, Liminality, Battersea Review, Barking Sycamores, and New England Review of Books. Her début collection, Lost Books (Flipped Eye Publishing), was nominated for the 2010 London New Poetry Award and was also a finalist for the 2010/2011 People’s Book Prize. Her second collection with Flipped Eye, The Dishonesty of Dreams, was released in 2014; her third-collection manuscript, Things Being What They Are, was shortlisted for the 2017 Sexton Prize. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University, where she was a 2015-16 Teaching Fellow, and works in the Honors College at the University of New Mexico. She has served as Senior Poetry Editor at Strange Horizons magazine since 2012.