Author and Activist
On why the CAS’s Semenya ruling is unscientific and unethical, in Wash Post

On why the CAS’s Semenya ruling is unscientific and unethical, in Wash Post

 

My latest, “Stop trying to make Caster Semenya fit a narrow idea of womanhood. It’s unscientific and unethical,” in The Washington Post, explores the May 1, 2019 ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in the case of black South African track star Caster Semenya. I discuss twelve different reasons why the ruling–which upheld the latest IAAF policy for women athletes with naturally high testosterone (hyperandrogenism)–is scientifically flawed and unethical. Enjoy.

Additional.

Word count prevented a more in depth (or conveniently numbered :)) exploration, so I’ve done it below (substantiating hyperlinks included in the original, no time to add here–yet!). Please share to support women with variations in sex characteristics competing with their beautiful, natural gifts intact. To be clear–since I didn’t say it explicitly in WaPo because: know your audience–what sporting bodies are doing to Caster is sickeningly unconscionable and corrupt. To say that something is “discriminatory” but that such discrimination is “necessary”–as the CAS ruling did about the IAAF policy forcing Semenya to take unnecessary drugs if she wants to compete as a woman–signals an open abandonment of ethics and human decency which I think should concern everyone.

Here’s twelve serious flaws with the IAAF’s policy for women like Caster which inform why many of us think it’s gotta go:

1. Naturally occurring testosterone operates differently from fake forms such as steroids, and studies on natural testosterone’s impact show that there is <em>no scientific evidence that it confers an advantage.

2. The fact that women with CAIS have frequently become elite athletes despite having 0% functional testosterone–as opposed to all other women who have some levels of functional T–is further evidence that the testosterone theory used to justify the IAAF’s policy is scientifically unsound and inaccurate.

3. The case of Indian runner Dutee Chand is further evidence that natural T does not confer advantage. Chand was banned under the 2011 policy–which set the T limit at 10 nanoliters per liter. Dutee fought the ruling in the CAS and won, has always run without reducing her high T levels, and yet has never dominated track and field, placing 30th and 40th in her respective events, the 100m and 300m.

4.  Due to a lack of scientific evidence to support their 2011 policy against women with high T, the IAAF commissioned a study, published in 2017, which has been highly criticized by experts for containing faulty data.  

Further, as it didn’t make the cut: The IAAF’s commissioned study was written by members of the IAAF’s own medical staff, Dr. Stephane Bermon and Dr. Pierre-Yves Garnier.

5. Similarly to Dutee Chand, Semenya runs nowhere near men’s times, as her critics insinuate, but solidly within women’s speed ranges [placing only 4th on the list for the world record in a recent race].

6. The IAAF’s latest policy specification to women running only in the 400m-mile events is scientifically unsound, as experts agree that testosterone has more impact in power events, such as shot put and javelin.

7. The IAAF’s proposed policy has been criticized as directly targeting Semenya, as it applies only to women w high T (above 5 nanomoles per liter) competing in her events, the 400 meters to a mile. Chand, for example, was banned under the 2011 policy—which applied to women with over 10 nanomoles per liter, twice the amount of the current policy’s limit—but is eligible under the latest policy because she runs the 100m and 300m events.

8. The IAAF chose to revive the testosterone policy after Chand’s case overturned it in 2015, in response to British runner Lynsey Sharp and other white female athletes’ highly publicized complaints, at the 2016 Olympics, that it was unfair that they had to compete against Semenya.

9. Both Dutee Chand and Caster Sememya have high T levels, but the CAS ruled Dutee Chand can compete without taking hormones,while subsequently, that Caster can not. Thus the factors which distinguish them, and enable a different ruling in Semenya’s case, are social, not scientific; they are: racism (Semenya is black), sexism/gender non-conforming-phobia (Semenya is gender non-conforming/has a “butch” gender expression) and homophobia (Semenya publicly married her wife).

10. The IAAF, IOC and now, CAS, are creating a situation wherein women who escaped medical practices performed on babies and minors with variations in sex characteristics–a practice widely denounced as a harmful human rights violation–are now pressured to undergo such practices as adults or risk their very livelihood. This is a human rights abuse, denounced by the UN.

11. The new IAAF policy targets women of color from the global south because they come from poor regions of the global south where medically unnecessary “normalizing” cosmetic medical treatments which infants and minors born with variations in sex characteristics (VSC) are often subjected to in the first world—a practice widely denounced as a human rights violation—are not available.

12. The IAAF and IOC have implemented polices against intersex women athletes since 1950, but they’ve been overturned because of ethical concerns and the fact that the science does not support them.

Additional point which didn’t make the cut:

13. The IAAF and IOC ignored the scientific findings presented to them when drafting the first regulations for women with high T–in 2011 in direct response to Semenya–in order to appease complaints by white female athletes.

We share the information here, outlined in the text below:

–from Born Both: An Intersex Life, p.247.

 

 

 

My Bibliography

  Here it is, freshly updated, an almost complete bibliography (I recently realized a few older essays from my blog Intersex & Out are still not on here) of my published intersex and non-binary perspectives on gender, embracing difference, human rights, discrimination in sports, and mainly, love & equality. Enjoy! Hida V Bibliography. (Note: I’ve… Continue Reading

Latest about what Pulaski news says about surgeries aimed to fix intersex kids

Latest about what Pulaski news says about surgeries aimed to fix intersex kids

  My latest essay, in OUT, about what the news that Revolutionary War hero Casimir Pulaski may have been intersex says about surgeries aimed to “fix” intersex kids and the military trans ban. I also discuss California’s groundbreaking legislation SB 201, which seeks to ban these surgeries, and how doctors have used false claims to support their… Continue Reading

Interview in fantastic article in The Advocate about Pulaski being Intersex

Interview in fantastic article in The Advocate about Pulaski being Intersex

  Thank you to The Advocate for this fantastic article about the Smithsonian Channel documentary, “Was The General A Woman?”, which reveals that General Casimir Pulaski was intersex! Thank you also for the fantastic interview– it actually managed to get in all my main points about the implications of this fantastic news. (Quotes included here… Continue Reading

What Pulaski’s Being Intersex Means for Intersex & Trans People Today

What Pulaski’s Being Intersex Means for Intersex & Trans People Today

I’m deeply honored to have been asked to participate in the Smithsonian Channel documentary, “The General Was Female?”, which examines years of research which conclude that American hero Casimir Pulaski was intersex! As often happens with interviews–and particularly in this case as the focus of the show was historically, not intersex–the more policy related issues… Continue Reading

Great Interview with OUT Chicago Radio

Great Interview with OUT Chicago Radio

Thanks to Scott Duff and Ellen Miller at OUT Chicago Radio for a fantastic radio interview about the groundbreaking news that General Casimir Pulaski, renowned as the father of the American Cavalry, was intersex. Despite the short time frame we had a chance to discuss the enormous implications this news has on the harm of… Continue Reading

Celebrating National Coming Out Day!

Celebrating National Coming Out Day!

  I’ve been out longer than I care to divulge –or I guess I should say, “divulge here,” as anyone who’s read my memoir knows exactly how long it’s been since I came out! 🙂 — but so many are still not safe enough to do so. Please help make the world safer for them… Continue Reading

U.S. Judge Rules in Favor of Nonbinary Passport!

U.S. Judge Rules in Favor of Nonbinary Passport!

  I couldn’t be happier or prouder about this news today, and to have played a role in it! Having a District Court Judge of the United States — where surgeries aimed at erasing intersex people from society originated, over half a century ago– acknowledge our right to be accurately identified as neither male nor female,… Continue Reading

Presenting Keynote at Texas State University’s Queer Summit!

Presenting Keynote at Texas State University’s Queer Summit!

  Many say Texas is scary, and it has been politically—which is why I can’t wait to speak at Texas State this Friday. Come on down y’all! (tee, hee) 🙂 April 27th, 2018. 12-30–2:30pm, followed by book signing. Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion Texas State University San Marcos, TX 78666 books will be available.)… Continue Reading

Born Both to be Published in German!

Born Both to be Published in German!

  I’m very happy to announce that my memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life (Hachette Books) will be available in German with Zaglossus Books this summer, summer 2018! Zaglossus is a publishing house based in Vienna, Austria, whose mission is to, “publish literature that makes the variety of different ways of life visible. Focusing – but by… Continue Reading

Born Both nominated for a Lammy!

Born Both nominated for a Lammy!

    OMG, my memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life has been nominated for a Lammy–the Lambda Literary Award! Queer non-binary Latinx intersex appreciation??!!!??? Whaaaat? SO excited! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I’m beyond thrilled and happy to have my first book recognized as one of eight finalists in the LGBTQ nonfiction category! It’s perhaps even more… Continue Reading

Celebrating Black History Month with IC4E!

Celebrating Black History Month with IC4E!

The face of intersex activism has often been portrayed as white, but this is far from the truth. As usual, black people have played an influential role in the fight for equality and human rights. Some of you may not be aware that I’m the founding director of an intersex advocacy non-profit, The Intersex Campaign… Continue Reading

My latest, The Privilege of Pleasure

My latest, The Privilege of Pleasure

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I love it when I can get a line into an essay–especially a serious one–that makes most people laugh out loud. See if you can find the one in my latest, “The Privilege of Pleasure.” 🙂 Big thanks ILGA-Europe​ for their amazing advocacy work for LGBTQIA people (and yes, they actually… Continue Reading

My new project the IQ Quarterly!

I am so humbled and excited to announce that I am co-editing a new quarterly publication the IQ Quarterly! The IQ Quarterly is a project of the Intersex Campaign for Equality (IC4E), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting equality for all intersex people through arts, education, and action, of which I am the founding director.… Continue Reading

Quoted in Refinery29: What’s the Difference b/w Sex & Gender?

Quoted in Refinery29: What’s the Difference b/w Sex & Gender?

“Essentially, gender doesn’t boil down to our sex parts for anyone,” Viloria says. “We’re born with certain bodies, but they don’t even matter until we start having a perception of who we are.” I’m quoted today in the article, “What’s the Difference between Sex & Gender?” As I mention in it, people often forget to… Continue Reading

My latest, “The Forgotten Vowel,” in INTO

My latest, “The Forgotten Vowel,” in INTO

Really love this one, my latest essay, “The Forgotten Vowel,” about how acknowledging and including intersex people and LGBTQIA+ coalition benefits us all.:) Enjoy, and big thanks to INTO magazine–the only LGBTQ website to receive the honor of being shortlisted (this past October) for the Shorty Award in news and media–for running it! It came… Continue Reading

Born Both Mentioned in Fantastic Article for Intersex Allies!

Born Both Mentioned in Fantastic Article for Intersex Allies!

Excellent article on how to be an ally to intersex people— please share widely folks! Big thanks to NewNowNext for running it and to author Kristina Marusic for mentioning my non-profit the Intersex Campaign for Equality (Ic4e), and my memoir Born Both! It really is a great way to spread understanding and acceptance, from what… Continue Reading

Intersex Awareness Day is this Thursday!

Intersex Awareness Day is this Thursday!

Hi everyone! So many of you have reached out to say supportive things about my activism that I thought I’d let you know that this Thursday, October 26th, is Intersex Awareness Day (IAD), and I would love, love, LOVE it if you could post or tweet something that day on your social media channels (using… Continue Reading

Quoted in Exc. Washington Post  Intersex Rights Movement Article

Quoted in Exc. Washington Post Intersex Rights Movement Article

It’s wonderful to see intersex people and our movement covered so respectfully in the article, “The Intersex Rights Movement Is Ready for its Moment,” in today’s Washington Post! I love that it features so many beautiful portraits of my fellow intersex community members and quotes by them, and, of course, that I’m quoted in the… Continue Reading

Gender-Fluidly Yours, at NYC’s LGBTQ Center!

Gender-Fluidly Yours, at NYC’s LGBTQ Center!

  SO excited about this event w the fab @thejeffreymarsh! 🙂https://t.co/NNGo5JaZDp #queer #nonbinary #intersex #bookreading #memoir #BornBoth pic.twitter.com/ecYSuGZY6u — Hida Viloria (@HidaViloria) September 29, 2017 NYC’s LGBTQ Center in Manhattan, known simply as “The Center” in my days there, played an important role in my life, which I discuss in my memoir Born Both: An… Continue Reading

It’s Read A Book Day! (wink, wink)

It’s Read A Book Day! (wink, wink)

  5 seconds agoSo it's #ReadABookDay, which means it's time to make my 1st & probably last shameless plug: Read My Book! 🤪 #BornBoth #memoir pic.twitter.com/smOixxzpaq — Hida Viloria (@HidaViloria) September 6, 2017 Continue Reading

Quoted in STAT News article about intersex women athletes

Quoted in STAT News article about intersex women athletes

  “I think that the only way it would be fair to regulate athletes [like] Caster and Dutee would be if we also had testosterone testing for men, and men that were in atypically high ranges had to take estrogen to lower their ranges down as well,” said Hida Viloria “I think the elephant in… Continue Reading

Interviewed on NPR’s AirTalk Radio About Banning Medically Unnecessary Surgeries on Intersex Minors

Interviewed on NPR’s AirTalk Radio About Banning Medically Unnecessary Surgeries on Intersex Minors

    Big thanks to NPR LA’s AirTalk w/ @LarryMantle–the award-winning public affairs show airing weekdays 10a-12p on 89.3 KPCC–for having me on to discuss intersex activists’ call for a ban on medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex minors, aka Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM). I open the 19 minute segment, “Should Surgery on Intersex Children Be… Continue Reading

NPR Reviews Born Both!

NPR Reviews Born Both!

“These books by Gay, Riggs, and Viloria tell stories that should be heard, that lift up and give meaning to scientific facts of variable bodies, diseases, and genders — and how we respond to them.” Thanks to Barbara J King and NPR for including Born Both in this review, described below. 🙂 “The pairing of… Continue Reading

Awesome Radio interview on Girl Boner!

Awesome Radio interview on Girl Boner!

  Happy Friday everyone! Haven’t been feeling the blog, but here’s this interview on the awesome Girl Boner.(Okay, HOW perfect is this show’s title for me— whaaaaa???) This is one of my favorite interviews so far. 🙂 Thanks to creator and host, the fabulous August McLaughlin​, for having me on and for being so intersex-positive!… Continue Reading

I Have An Intersex Birth Certificate!

I Have An Intersex Birth Certificate!

  I’m thrilled to announce that I have a new birth certificate which lists my sex as “intersex”! For those unfamiliar, intersex refers to people born with sexual and/or reproductive anatomy that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of male or female. We’ve been around forever but our existence has been hidden for hundreds (if not thousands)… Continue Reading

Praise for Born Both: An Intersex Life!

Praise for Born Both: An Intersex Life!

  Born Both: An Intersex Life (Hachette Books, 3/14/17) is the first book by an openly intersex author to be published by a “Big 5” publishing house. It is a candid, provocative, and eye-opening memoir of gender identity, self-acceptance, and love, and has been praised by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Psychology… Continue Reading

Born Both Reviewed by the New York Times!

Born Both Reviewed by the New York Times!

    I’m overjoyed and deeply grateful to see the labor and love of my life, Born Both: An Intersex Life, reviewed by the New York Times! It’s thrilling and touching that so many have been feeling my memoir’s message of love and acceptance for all humans–basically, a dream come true. Continue Reading

“Intersex and Happy” Interview in Psychology Today

“Intersex and Happy” Interview in Psychology Today

    “I define gender as… a unique, non-audible song that all humans sing. We can try to imitate the most accepted, popular songs but we can never exactly duplicate them so in the end each song, like our fingerprints, is an original: our ‘genderprint’.” — Hida Viloria, in Psychology Today LOVE my interview, “Born… Continue Reading

April 24th at the Santa Monica Public Library

In the City of Intersex Angels chapter of my memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life — named after the blissful year I spent living in Venice Beach — I actually mention a job I had in Santa Monica, and I love the I’m having a reading there! Santa Monica Public Library Monday, April 24th, 6pm.… Continue Reading

Rave Review of Born Both in The Washington Post!

Rave Review of Born Both in The Washington Post!

    Enormous thanks to Juliet Jacques for this in-depth, beautiful, rave review of my memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life, in the Washington Post:”Overcoming trauma and intolerance as an intersex activist.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/overcoming-trauma-and-intolerance-as-an-intersex-activist/2017/03/24/a586555e-f222-11e6-a9b0-ecee7ce475fc_story.html?utm_term=.291eff4232ed Continue Reading

Born Both Selected as one of People’s Best New Books!

Born Both Selected as one of People’s Best New Books!

    “Intersex people often have their dual gender surgically ‘corrected,’ but trailblazing activist Viloria didn’t. Her memoir is fierce, brave, and a clarion call to celebrate our differences.” — People Magazine on Born Both: An Intersex Life Thrilled to see that People magazine has selected my recently released memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life… Continue Reading

My Interview on SoCal NPR’s Air Talk

My Interview on SoCal NPR’s Air Talk

    Big thanks to Air Talk host Larry Mantle, and everyone at 89.3 KPCC Southern California Public Radio (SCPR)– a member-supported public media network that operates across the region, reaching from Santa Barbara down to Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and out to the Coachella Valley– for a great interview earlier today. Larry’s questions… Continue Reading

Interview in Rolling Stone!

Interview in Rolling Stone!

  As a kid, I loved and devoured Rolling Stone interviews, and so I can’t say how thrilled I am to find myself interviewed in it! Huge thanks to Rolling tone for seeing the value in my memoir Born Both, and to Larissa Pham for this fantastic interview! Please enjoy and share widely to further… Continue Reading

April 7th, Arts & Ideas Series, San Francisco

April 7th, Arts & Ideas Series, San Francisco

      In conversation with filmmaker Sam McConnell, producer of HBO’s The Out List and The Trans List, at the Jewish Community Center’s “Arts & Ideas” Series, for the event “Between Genders: Exploring Intersex with Hida Viloria.” Please pre-order your tickets if possible here. Friday, April 7th, 7pm, SF JCC. 3200 California Street, San… Continue Reading

March 31st, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle

March 31st, Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle

Excited to be presenting a reading of my memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington. Friday, March 31, 2017 – 7:00pm http://www.elliottbaybook.com/event/hida-viloria Location: 1521 Tenth Avenue Seattle, WA 98122 Continue Reading

March 25th, Collected Works Bookstore, Santa Fe

March 25th, Collected Works Bookstore, Santa Fe

Saturday, March 25th, 6pm. 202 Galisteo St., Santa Fe, NM 87501 Exited to have the first reading of my memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life, in my new hometown of Santa Fe, at the esteemed Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse. http://www.collectedworksbookstore.com/event/hida-viloria-born-both-memoir Continue Reading

Last chance to pre-order Born Both!

Last chance to pre-order Born Both!

I’ve never had a baby, but this project gestated longer than one, and I’m about to give birth! Please support intersex voices and people in society by pre-ordering a copy today before it hits stores tomorrow. http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/titles/hida-viloria/born-both/9780316347846/ Continue Reading

Born Both listed as one of the  Culture Essentials for March!

Born Both listed as one of the Culture Essentials for March!

I’m a native New Yorker, and my memoir begins in Brooklyn, so I couldn’t be more pleased and honored to be listed as one of the “Culture Essentials for March“, by the Brooklyn-based arts and culture blog Brooklyn Based. Big thanks to the article’s author Annalise Griffin, and everyone at Brooklyn Based for such a… Continue Reading

Audio Book Recording of Born Both Begins!

Audio Book Recording of Born Both Begins!

Starting tomorrow I’ll be in a studio for 5 days recording the audio version of my memoir—AH!!!!!! Can I really read that much out loud? It’s gonna be weird! But also cool. But weird…. Wish me luck! 🙂  #BornBoth #readingaloudgonewild #intersex  #intersexstories #memoir P.S. Haven’t started yet; this pic’s from a 2014 interview at KPFA Radio, in Berkeley.     Continue Reading

Quoted in People Magazine!

Quoted in People Magazine!

I was SO happy to hear the news last week about NYC’s intersex birth certificate—from the fantastic Sara Kelly Keenan, the person who’s been issued the historic certificate– and to share it, and today I’m thrilled to be quoted about the development in People magazine! From the article, “Advocates Say Issuing Nation’s First Intersex Birth Certificate… Continue Reading

Fantastic Born Both Review by Kirkus!

Fantastic Born Both Review by Kirkus!

“Intelligent and courageous, the author’s book chronicles one intersex person’s path to wholeness, but it also affirms the right of all intersex and nonbinary people to receive dignity and respect. A relentlessly honest and revealing memoir.” — Kirkus Reviews SO excited and happy about this review!!!! Thanks to Kirkus for reading! Read the full review here.… Continue Reading

Happy Herm New Year’s to All!

Happy Herm New Year’s to All!

Feeling so grateful for the support I’ve gotten with my memoir Born Both this past year! From all the folk at my publisher Hachette Book Groups, to those who read it and/or reviewed it, to my friends and chosen family, and all the beautiful people that just support intersex people, I want to say thank you… Continue Reading

Quoted in National Geographic

Quoted in National Geographic

Lots of times people don’t remedy situations when unfortunate mistakes are made, but National Geographic magazine did,  and I’m so happy about it!  In this article, editor-in-chief Susan Goldberg explains why they originally defined being intersex as a “disorder” in their “Gender Revolution” issue, and why they changed the definition–quoting yours truly in the process.… Continue Reading

Pls Tell Nat’l Geo. To Stop Calling Intersex a Disorder

Pls Tell Nat’l Geo. To Stop Calling Intersex a Disorder

FOR ALL INTERSEX PEEPS, OUR FAMILIES & ALLIES: I recently learned that National Geographic Magazine (@natgeo) plans to use hurtful, pathologizing language to describe intersex people in their upcoming January issue, “Gender Revolution” (as seen in pics below). I am so disappointed as I’d been contacted to be a part of the accompanying documentary (airing… Continue Reading

Love & Acceptance IS Possible (Derr!)

Love & Acceptance IS Possible (Derr!)

Since I came out as an intact intersex person, people have speculated as to how hard it must have been for me as a child. There’s a perception that it will be so hard for intersex kids to be accepted, but just listen to what the friends of an eight year old South African intersex… Continue Reading

Happy Human Rights Day Everyone!

Happy Human Rights Day Everyone!

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years today since I spoke at the UN: one of the most fulfilling, moving moments of my life. It happened for the UN’s Human Rights Day 2013 event Sports Comes Out Against Homophobia, which I was invited to participate in to speak on discrimination against intersex female athletes… Continue Reading

US Govt Advised to Recognize Intersex & Non-binary People!

US Govt Advised to Recognize Intersex & Non-binary People!

I couldn’t be happier about this victorious ruling, or prouder to call Dana Zzyym, the plaintiff in the case, my friend! In case you missed news of Dana’s historic lawsuit, here’s this beautiful 1 minute video by Lambda Legal, Dana’s brilliant representatives in the case. You can read all about the details and court ruling… Continue Reading

Short Intvw on UN Radio’s UN Gender Focus

Short Intvw on UN Radio’s UN Gender Focus

  It’s hard to encapsulate complex intersex human rights issues and one’s life experience and gender identity in 2 minutes, but I’m very grateful to UN Radio for allowing me to do so in this educational segment about intersex people & gender fluid gender identity issues — even though they accidentally called me “HILDA”, lol.… Continue Reading

Honoring the Intersex Day of Remembrance

Honoring the Intersex Day of Remembrance

The Intersex Day of Remembrance, also known as Intersex Solidarity Day, is observed on November 8th, the birthday of Herculine Barbin. As the observance’s founder Gina Wilson, former president and founder of OII Australia and pioneering crusader for intersex human rights, elaborated in the Star Observer in 2011, Barbin is the earliest recorded intersex person to have been subjected to the… Continue Reading

Quoted in UN’s Intersex Awareness Campaign!

Quoted in UN’s Intersex Awareness Campaign!

I’m deeply grateful to the folks at the UN’s Free & Equal Campaign for continuing to work towards ending discrimination against intersex people–today with the launch of their beautiful Intersex Awareness campaign–and deeply honored to participate as one of the people featured in their Intersex Voices segment. They wanted short statements geared at educating the… Continue Reading

The Intersex Awareness Day 2016 Did You Know? List

The Intersex Awareness Day 2016 Did You Know? List

Today is #IntersexAwarenessDay, celebrated in honor of the first known intersex protest, held at a medical clinic in Boston exactly twenty years ago, on October 26th. Although we’ve made a lot of progress since then, let’s face it: we still need a lot more awareness about intersex people. I mean, we’re still so little known… Continue Reading

Quoted in Huff Post article “Intersex ED at the UN”

Quoted in Huff Post article “Intersex ED at the UN”

I’m honored to be quoted in the fantastic essay, “Intersex ED at the UN”, published in light of the upcoming #intersexAwarenessDay —  just 2 days away!  It explains that I feel blessed not have been subjected to Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM), and that: “I want to encourage all parents of intersex kids to do the same. Trying to… Continue Reading

Presenting @ World Sexual Health Day 2016 at Stanford!

Presenting @ World Sexual Health Day 2016 at Stanford!

Excited to be back in the Bay to present at World Sexual Health Day 2016, “Elminating the Myths”, co-hosted Weiland Health Initiative at Stanford University! https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/world-sexual-health-day-palo-alto-sara-nasserzadeh-msc-phd Thursday, September 29th, 2016 5:30 – 10:00 pm Paul Brest Hall Conference Center Stanford University I will be speaking about intersex people and sexuality with a panel of esteemed experts including: Inge Hansen, Karli… Continue Reading

Born Both available for pre-order!

Born Both available for pre-order!

Seeing my memoir Born Both available for pre-order on Amazon =  one of the most satisfying moments I have ever had. GIGANTIC thanks to all those who believed in me and supported me in creating this work! It’ll be out March 14th. 🙂     Continue Reading

Presenting to Stanford Graduate Students

Presenting to Stanford Graduate Students

    Excited to be presenting once again this year on intersex issues to Stanford University graduate students attending the Gender & Sexualities Field Trip in San Fransciso. It should be a wonderful group, for a wonderful event! June 6, 2016 Professor Inge Margrethe Hansen Continue Reading

Long Live Grace: Happy Birthday & Thanks to a Genderqueer Pioneer!

Long Live Grace: Happy Birthday & Thanks to a Genderqueer Pioneer!

“The future is no sex.” — Grace Jones Countless people, including myself, have been deeply saddened by the loss of icons David Bowie and Prince this year. In my case, I also kicked myself, while grieving, for having never sent a message of gratitude to either one. God/dess knows if they’d ever have gotten it,… Continue Reading

IDAHO-T and Me: Thoughts on Inter Connectivity & Inclusion

IDAHO-T and Me: Thoughts on Inter Connectivity & Inclusion

Happy Belated IDAHO-T everyone! Yesterday was the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHO-T), and I was too busy working towards LGBTQIA visibility and equality to post here in time! BIG apologies to all who follow me and my blog for being a bit M.I.A. this past year — it’s hard to finish the… Continue Reading

Presenting at Princeton!

Presenting at Princeton!

I am honored and excited to be presenting my 101 workshop, “Reimagining the Human Species: Intersex People in Society”, and my lecture,” Sex is Complicated: Intersexionality and Intersex Human Rights, Identity and Discourse”, today at Princeton. It’s truly incredible to see how far awareness, and discussions about intersex people’s lives have come, and an honor… Continue Reading

A Gender Fluid, Intersex Homage to David Bowie

A Gender Fluid, Intersex Homage to David Bowie

I’m supposed to be working on my manuscript draft, but this morning I learned that David Bowie had passed away, and there’s nothing more pressing and present in my psyche. I had hoped a Facebook post would suffice, but it turns out I can’t finish my memoir about being a gender fluid, intersex person until… Continue Reading

Published in new college textbook by Oxford Univ. Press!

Published in new college textbook by Oxford Univ. Press!

My essay, “What’s in a Name: Intersex and Identity”, was selected for and appears in the college textbook, Queer: A Reader for Writers, published this January, 2016, by Oxford University Press. The book includes an interdisciplinary mix of public, academic, and cultural reading selections, and was developed for courses in first-year writing. It provides students with… Continue Reading

Speaking at the APPPAH 19th Congress

I’ll be speaking about the right to genital integrity, as it relates to intersex people, this Friday, December 4th, at the Association For Prenatal And Perinatal Psychology And Health (APPPAH)’s 19th International Congress (December 3-6, 2015). I am honored to be joined by FGM survivor, award-winning director (Fire Eyes, which highlights the barbaric practice of FGM),… Continue Reading

Keynote Presentation at Intersex Solidarity Days in Vienna!

Keynote Presentation at Intersex Solidarity Days in Vienna!

    I’m excited to be invited by VIMO (aka OII Austria) and Platform Intersex Austria (PIA), to present at the Intersex Solidarity Days Conference in Vienna. I will be leading two 3 hour workshops alongside fellow activists, the fantastic Dan Christian Ghattas and Del LaGrace Volcano, of OII Europe, and also presented the keynote… Continue Reading

Quoted in Great Buzzfeed Article

Quoted in Great Buzzfeed Article

    “I feel compelled to let the public know that you can grow up intersex and be perfectly fine and happy,” said Hida Viloria, the executive director of the U.S. affiliate of Organization Intersex International. “It’s not as hard being intersex as everyone assumes it will be — at least that’s my belief.” I’m… Continue Reading

How Intersex People Identify

How Intersex People Identify

Co-authored by Dana Zzyym. Much has been said recently, on the heels of all the media attention on Caitlin Jenner and Rachel Dolezal, about the issue of how people “identify”. Meanwhile, Intersex people have also been getting attention in the media, and an increasing amount of folks are finally aware of the fact that we… Continue Reading

Speaking to Stanford students, about love

Speaking to Stanford students, about love

    My mind has been spinning non-stop this past week, swirling in the aftermath and analysis of hate. We have witnessed so many innocent people being gunned down b/c they are black, and then a rash of hateful, dismissive, and/or devaluing remarks towards a woman, Rachel Dolezar, because she identifies as black. Both incidents… Continue Reading

Mom, I did it: my book’s going to be published!

Mom, I did it: my book’s going to be published!

  Some folks have written to ask why I haven’t had any posts on my blog Intersex and Out for so long, so I thought I’d share the good news with everyone: it’s because I was busy perfecting my memoir proposal so my agent could shop it and sell it to a major publisher! I… Continue Reading

Speaking in SF this Friday, June 5th, for Pride Month! :)

I’m thrilled to join Joe Wenke, author of The Human Agenda: Conversations about Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity, and my fellow contributors Gisele Alicia (model, Barney’s Brothers & Sisters Campaign) and Captain Kevin Fisher-Paulson (author, SF Sheriff’s Dept.)  to share our stories, perspectives and commitment to freedom and equality. Please join for what promises to be a thought… Continue Reading

Essay to be published by Oxford U Press this December!

Essay to be published by Oxford U Press this December!

Can’t say how thrilled I am that my May, 2014 essay “What’s in a Name: Intersex and Identity” (originally published here for my blog, Intersex and Out), will be published by Oxford University Press this December in the college textbook, QUEER: A Reader for Writers, by Jason Schneiderman. My gratitude goes out to Schneiderman and… Continue Reading

Interview in VICE about intersex victory in Malta

Interview in VICE about intersex victory in Malta

Psyched that I asked the US gov’t to ban Intersex Genital Mutilation (IGM) here in the U.S. — as the Maltese government did there last week! 🙂 🙂 🙂 — and that I was able to discuss “interphobia”, in my interview in VICE: “I often say we’re on the front lines of homophobia and transphobia,… Continue Reading

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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