The United States affiliate of the Organization Intersex International (OII)

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Category Archives: Media Releases

Victory for Intersex Plaintiff Dana Zzyym & All Non-Binary People!

Victory for Intersex Plaintiff Dana Zzyym & All Non-Binary People!

Earlier today, Lambda Legal–who are representing our Associate Director Dana Zzyym in their historic U.S. lawsuit for accurate gender recognition on their passport–issued an update in the case titled, “Victory for Intersex Plaintiff”.

From the press release:

“Lambda Legal is urging the State Department to issue accurate passports for non-binary people!

This comes after a judge found that the State Department violated federal law in denying a passport to Lambda Legal client Dana Zzyym, a U.S. citizen and Navy veteran who is intersex.

The State Department denied Dana’s application because Dana could not accurately choose either male or female on the form, which does not provide any other gender marker designation.

In his ruling, Judge R. Brooke Jackson stated that he found “no evidence that the Department followed a rational decision-making process in deciding to implement its binary-only gender passport policy,” and ordered the U.S. Passport Agency to reconsider its earlier decision to deny Dana a passport.”

We thank Judge R. Brooke Jackson for his just and sound ruling, and Lambda Legal for their brilliance and commitment to pursuing equality for Dana and all non-binary people!

Lambda Legal Staff Attorney Paul Castillo says, “…we call on the State Department to do the right thing and issue accurate passports that reflect who Dana and all non-binary citizens truly are. Why should Dana – or any non-binary person – be forced to lie about their gender on a passport application when there are other proven solutions already implemented by countries elsewhere?”

As Dana says:

“Today’s decision is great news, but I realize it is the first step in a long battle.

Every day, I am forced to suffer the consequences of decisions made for me as a child. I shouldn’t have to suffer at the hands of my government — a government I proudly and willingly served — as well.

It’s a painful hypocrisy that, simply because I refused to lie about my gender on a government document, that the government would ignore who I am. I hope the State Department will do the right thing now.”

We recognize there is more to be done, as Dana notes, but it would be remisss not to note that this is a very positive, historically significant event for intersex and non binary people.

“This is a tremendous victory for Dana Zzyym and other intersex and non-binary citizens, who simply want to be recognized and respected for who they are, to live openly and authentically, and have their government recognize them for who they are.”
–Llambda Legal Staff Attorney Paul Castillo

Dana applied for a passport in 2014, when they were asked to represent OII-USA at the 4th International Intersex Forum in Mexico City by our E.D., who co-organized the 3rd Intersex Forum in Malta but was unable to attend the following year. However, Dana’s application for a passport was denied because they did not list their gender as male or female–even though Dana’s birth certificate lists their sex as “unknown,” and Dana’s doctors with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs confirm their gender as intersex–leading Dana to pursue legal action.

We thank and commend Lambda Legal for their brilliant work on Dana’s case, and are proud to have played a small role in providing documentation and support for it.

We also commend Dana Zzyym for their courage in putting themselves out there so strongly as a #nonbinary #intersex person, and their perseverance in demanding recognition from the Untied States government that intersex people exist! For centuries the U.S. and other nations have tried to force us to live in the shadows, but now they no longer can, and we recognize that this is a critical step in ending the human rights abuses–such as Intersex Genital Mutilation, or IGM (aka nonconsensual “corrective” surgeries)–which intersex people still face in the US.

Thank you Dana! We are incredibly proud to call you our Associate Director, and our friend.

See full press release, with short video of case, here:.

Read the ruling here.

#IntersexEquality #IntersexRights #IntersexAwareness #BornBoth

Intersex Californian becomes 2nd US citizen to attain nonbinary gender recognition!

Intersex Californian becomes 2nd US citizen to attain nonbinary gender recognition!

Yesterday, in a Santa Cruz California courtroom, Sara Kelly Keenan became the second U.S. citizen—and the first California resident—to legally change her gender from female to “non-binary.” Keenan, a retired paralegal, was inspired to petition the court for a gender change to “nonbinary” by Jamie Shupe’s similar victory in Oregon this past June.   We… Continue Reading

Lambda Legal Blasts State Dept in Zzyym’s Gender Recognition Lawsuit

Last Intersex Awareness Day, 2015, our Associate Director Dana Zzyym, who uses they/them/their pronouns, and Lambda Legal, the country’s largest, oldest LGBT civil rights organization, announced that they were suing the U.S. Department of State for denying Zzyym a passport that accurately reflects their sex and gender. Today, Lambda Legal staff attorneys urged the U.S. District Court… Continue Reading

OII-USA Dana Zzyym’s Lawsuit in Newsday!

This great piece in Newsday accurately describes Dana’s case, points out that some intersex people, unlike Dana, identify as men or women (as we have always made clear), and even features a great pic of Dana and Paul Castillo, the Lambda Legal staff attorney representing Dana in this lawsuit. Big thanks to Newsday for giving… Continue Reading

OII-USA’s Dana Zzyym Sues U.S. State Department for the Right to be Legally Recognized as a Non-binary Intersex Person!

OII-USA’s Dana Zzyym Sues U.S. State Department for the Right to be Legally Recognized as a Non-binary Intersex Person!

***  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  *** Denver, CO, October 26, 2015. Today, Intersex Awareness Day, 2015, Lambda Legal filed a groundbreaking lawsuit against the U.S. State Department on behalf of OII-USA Associate Director Dana Zzyym, for Zzyym’s right to have their gender accurately represented as neither male nor female on their passport. Zzyym, a disabled Navy… Continue Reading

PRESS RELEASE: Huge Intersex Rights Victory in Europe: Malta bans Intersex Genital Mutilation/IGM!

PRESS RELEASE: Huge Intersex Rights Victory in Europe: Malta bans Intersex Genital Mutilation/IGM!

OII-USA joins OII Europe in applauding this victory for Intersex people’s rights, and gives big thanks to members of the Maltese government, OII Europe, ILGA/ILGA Europe, and all who played a role in achieving it, particularly long term intersex allies Silvan Agius and Ruth Baldacchino! PRESS RELEASE******PRESS RELEASE*****PRESS RELEASE****** OII-Europe applauds Malta’s Gender Identity, Gender… Continue Reading

New study confirms OII’s message: we are “Intersex”, not “DSDs”!

A recent study published in the International Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology (March 16, 2015), titled, “Congenital adrenal hyperplasia patient perception of ‘disorders of sex development’ nomenclature”, found that: “71.0% disliked or strongly disliked the term DSD. 83.6% stated they did not identify with the term DSD. 76.0% felt that the term DSD has a negative… Continue Reading

Viloria speaks twice in Barcelona!

Viloria speaks twice in Barcelona!

We are forever grateful to our fantastic allies Professors Joan Pujol Tarrés, PhD, and Marisela Montenegro, PhD, of the Department of Social Psychology (Departament de Psicologia Social) at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), and Miguel Misse & Pol Galofre of Barcelona’s Cultura Trans, for sponsoring this fantastic event to bring ICE E.D. Hida Viloria… Continue Reading

Viloria’s 8.5 minute video interview in Gender Talents web project

ICE’s Hida Viloria was interviewed for Gender Talents , a fantastic web-based project by artist Carlos Motta that engages movements and discourses for gender self-determination within trans and interest communities. Carlos did a FANTASTIC job capturing some of Hida’s best points about the numerous issues that impact intersex people — such as homophobia, gender-variant-phobia, sexism,… Continue Reading

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