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Dr. Dani Lee Harris is a retired police officer, adjunct professor, author, activist and the first openly intersex Grand Marshall of a Pride Parade, in their hometown of Atlanta Georgia. Dani is also ICE’s Southeastern Regional Representative, we are proud to say, not just because of his tremendous accomplishments and dedication to human rights, but because his words, as well as his story, spread the inspirational message of the triumph of love, equality and diversity which ICE was founded upon.
According to Dr. Harris, today is “Thoughtful Tuesday”, and today’s particular focus is higher education. We think that intersex people, our families, and our allies will benefit from Dani’s insights about his experience with it as a black, gender nonconforming intersex person, especially because we still live in a society which often predicts that intersex children, and black children, are not able to grow up into happy, thriving adults. Dani is living proof that nothing could be further from the truth. As he shares:
“I achieved my Doctorate Degree in 2014 and this was a personal desire and aspiration of mine. I wanted to achieve something that only 8% of Americans obtain and 3% of black people. It did not make me better than the next person, it does not give me the right to look down on anyone else period. There are a number of highly intelligent individuals that I am surrounded by that could obtain the same degree if they desired. However that was not what they wanted to do, for whatever reason. I say all of this to say, do not put those with post-nominal initials before and/or after their name on a pedestal. Always respect their earnings but never demean yourself in the process. There are a whole lot of people that can get the degree and forget where they came from. Better yet, I was taught by the greatest that when you obtain higher degrees, it should make you humble…..and that, it did for me. So if obtaining a higher degree is something you want to do, then just do it. One class at a time. Go for it, the only thing stopping you is YOU.” — Dr. Dani Lee Harris, July 21, 2016
We thank Dani for sharing his experience and perspectives with the world, including the importance of not falling prey to the intellectual classism that pervades American society. We are all in this together, and we are all equal.