Intersex Writer and Activist

Hida on Inside Edition – her experience and the Caster Semenya controversy

Hida will be on Inside Edition speaking about her experience as an intersex woman in light of the controversy over champion South African runner Caster Semenya’s “sex-testing.”

KRON Channel 4, 5pm in San Francisco; check local programming for time in your location.

Watch video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HwLfvKPAZY

Her breathtaking speed shattered the world record in the women’s 800 meter run.

The South African teen became an overnight sensation.  But her muscular body and deep voice ignited a firestorm of controversy that has the whole world questioning if 18-year-old Caster Semenya is male or female.

According to published reports, tests reveal that she is a hermaphrodite, which means she was born with both male and female sex organs.

This woman knows exactly what the track sensation is going through

“Just like her, people thought I was a man,” Hida Viloria tells INSIDE EDITION.

Growing up, Viloria looked like your typical American school girl.  “All during my childhood I felt different from other girls, but I didn’t think that I wasn’t a girl.”

She attended Catholic school and wore a traditional uniform.

“In high school I was a total girlie girl,” says Viloria.

She says she never felt physically different than other women.  But before entering law school, she stumbled on an article about hermaphrodites.

“That’s when it was like a light bulb went off and I was like ‘Wow, I actually am different,’ ” says Viloria.

Incredibly, only then did she learn she was a hermaphrodite.

“I never felt that it was a negative thing to be when I found out.  I never felt stigma around the word intersex or the word hermaphrodite.”

Like the teen runner, Viloria was lean and muscular.  She says when she took on a more masculine appearance, people were often confused.

“I actually just started using male restroom because it as easier than being chased out of women’s restrooms.”

Viloria believes that the 18-year-old runner is being treated unfairly.

“She’s being tested because simply because she didn’t make more of an effort to look like society ideas of female.”

The teen runner recently glammed up for a photo spread to look more feminine.  But Viloria, who is writing a book about her experience calledMighty Hermaphrodite, has a reassuring message for the track star: “You’re a champion and there’s nothing wrong with who you are.”

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Interesting fact: At approx. 1.7% of the population, Intersex people are as common as red-heads. “Everyone’s met an intersex person, you just may not know you have.”

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