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Organisation Intersex International - United States of America
Abbreviation OII-USA
Formation February 2011
Type NGO
Purpose Intersex human rights
Region served
United States
Executive Director
Hida Viloria
Website oii-usa.org

The Organisation Intersex International - United States of America (OII-USA) is the U.S. affiliate of The Organisation Intersex International (OII), a non-governmental organization that advocates for the human rights of intersex people.[1][2]

History and staff[edit]

OII-USA was founded in February 2011.[1] The director is author and activist Hida Viloria.[1][3] Dana Zzyym has been the associate director since February 19, 2015, when intersex activists Dr. Dani Lee Harris, Hida Viloria, and Zzyym re-branded OII-USA by co-founding the Intersex Campaign for Equality (ICE).[4]


OII-USA aims to campaign for the human rights of intersex people, particularly rights to self-determination and bodily integrity. It also aims to support intersex individuals, and provide information on the actual life experiences of people with intersex variations to professionals working providing services to them, including medical personnel, psychological experts, sexologists, sociologists and academics.

The Intersex Campaign for Equality (a.k.a. OII-USA), is a multi-gendered, multi-orientation, multi-racial NGO founded by and for intersex people. The Intersex Campaign for Equality's mission is to attain human rights—particularly the rights to bodily integrity, self-determination, legal recognition, and de-pathologization—for all intersex people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ability or class, recognizing that some intersex individuals, particularly those with nonbinary gender identities, remain marginalized even within the intersex community.[2]


OII-USA advocates for human rights for intersex people in the United States via personal communication, consulting, public speaking, publishing, and lobbying. The organization also provides peer support, news updates, information, and educational events and lectures. They have lobbied extensively in the press and in print against intersex genital mutilation, aka medically unnecessary "normalizing" genital surgeries and hormone treatments of intersex infants and minors, and against discriminatory regulations for intersex female athletes.

In 2011, founder and director Hida Viloria lobbied the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for inclusion of intersex people, as the "I" in "LGBTI", in LGBT anti-discrimination policies. On Intersex Awareness Day, October 26, 2012, OII-USA published the free educational resource Brief Guidelines for Intersex Allies.[5] In May 2013, OII-USA published Your Beautiful Child: Information for Parents, a resource of non-stigmatizing information for parents, authored by Viloria, which includes links to unbiased medical studies regarding medically unnecessary surgeries for intersex people,[6] and is being utilized by health care providers around the world.[citation needed]

On Intersex Awareness Day, October 26, 2015, OII-USA Associate Director Dana Zzyym made history by announcing that they, along with their legal representatives from Lambda Legal, the U.S.'s oldest LGBT legal rights organization, are suing the United States Department of State for legal gender recognition on their passport as someone who is neither male nor female. Zzyym was born intersex and identifies as non-binary and is seeking accurate federal gender recognition. In 2015, OII-USA assisted[citation needed] the United Nations Free & Equal Campaign in drafting their resource, the Intersex Fact Sheet,[7] and in 2016, Viloria's essay, "What's in A Name: Intersex and identity", which calls for a non-stigmatizing, equality based linguistic approach to discussing intersex people, was published in the college curriculum textbook, Queer: A Reader for Writers, by Oxford University Press.[8]

OII-USA has also been heavily involved in the international intersex human rights movement. On Human Rights Day, December 10, 2012, founder and director Hida Viloria spearheaded a global call for human rights by and for intersex people, via the "Open Letter: A Call for the Inclusion of Human Rights for Intersex People",[9] which s/he authored and delivered to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights with participants of the 2nd International Intersex Forum in Stockholm signing on in support. The following year, Viloria served as one of three intersex participants chosen by ILGA-Europe to co-organize the third International Intersex Forum, in Malta, which led to the creation of the Malta Declaration, an internationally agreed declaration of the demands and human rights goals of the international intersex community.[citation needed] On Human Rights Day 2013, Viloria spoke at the United Nations, educating about the human rights violations intersex people face and the need for legal protection from discrimination at the event, "Sport Comes Out Against Homophobia".[10][11]

In addition, in early 2010, before founding OII-USA, Viloria, as Human Rights Spokesperson for the Organisation Intersex International (OII), lobbied the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for equal treatment of intersex female athletes after the gender verification testing of South African track star Caster Semenya. This resulted in h/er participating, by invitation, at the IOC 's 2010 meeting of experts in Lausanne, Switzerland, where s/he lobbied that intersex female athletes be allowed to compete as is, without having to undergo unnecessary medical treatments, and that the use of the pathologizing term "disorders of sex development"/DSD to describe these athletes be discontinued.[citation needed]

Media Activism & Visibility[edit]

Founder and Director Hida Viloria has been published extensively on intersex issues in CNN.com, The American Journal of Bioethics, The New York Times, The Global Herald, Ms., The Advocate, and other publications.[citation needed] In March, 2017, s/he will become the first openly intersex person to have a book published by one of the Big Four (book publishing) companies, when he/r memoir, Born Both: An Intersex Life, is released by Hatchette Book Group.[12]

In 2015 and 2016, Associate Director Dana Zzyym's U.S. lawsuit for accurate gender recognition received extensive coverage in national venues such as The Washington Post,[13] The Huffington Post,[14] CNN.com,[15] The New York Times,[16] The Los Angeles Times,[17] The Advocate,[18] and many more, bringing widespread mainstream attention to the existence of, and the need for equal rights for, intersex people.

In addition, founder and director Hida Viloria was one of the first people to come out as intersex on television, radio and film,[citation needed] with interviews spanning the last two decades. In 2014, Viloria spoke about discrimination against intersex female athletes on Aljazeera's The Stream,[19] and provided an introduction to intersex on Huffington Post Live, in November 2013.[20] In 2013 Viloria also provided expert testimony, in Spanish, for the Spanish language television court show Caso Cerrado,[21] and was interviewed on BBC World Service radio twice: in May, regarding the ground-breaking U.S. lawsuit by the parents of an intersex child against the doctors that operated on him as an infant,[22] and in November, regarding Germany's third gender law for intersex infants.[23]

Earlier television interviews by Viloria include appearances on Inside Edition (1997, 2009), The Montel Williams Show (1998), ABC's 20/20 (2002), The Tyra Banks Show (2010), and a 2007 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show which was viewed by an estimated 40 million people across the world.[24] Viloria has also appeared in several of the films about intersex, including Intersexion (2012), One in 2000 (2007),[25] and Hermaphrodites Speak (1997).[26] In addition, in the 1999 documentary Gendernauts, about gender non-conforming people, Viloria became one of the first people to speak publicly on film about having a gender identity that is neither male nor female—what is today known as genderqueer or non-binary—as well as about being intersex.[citation needed]

Birth assignments and surgical treatment[edit]

Articles specifically focusing on intersex birth registrations by Hida Viloria can be found at The Advocate[27] and The Global Herald.[28] Her work focusing on "normalising" surgeries has been published at The Advocate.[29]

Access to sport[edit]

Hida Viloria has prior experience in advising the International Olympic Committee on intersex perspectives in access to sport, and she has continued this work as part of OII-USA.[30][31][32] With Spanish hurdler Maria José Martínez-Patiño,[33] Viloria has argued that Olympic sex testing is applied in a way that targets only "butch" women, those who are "masculine looking".[31] On International Human Rights Day 2013, Hida Vilora spoke as director of OII-USA at the United Nations event, "Sport Comes Out Against Homophobia".[34][35]


OII-USA is a national affiliate of Organisation Intersex International, and a member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About Us". OII-USA. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Mission Statement". OII-USA. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  3. ^ Hida Viloria (June 12, 2013). "Op-ed: Intersex, the Final Coming-Out Frontier". The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Who We Are". OII-USA. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Brief Guidelines for Intersex Allies". OII-USA. October 25, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Your Beautiful Child: Information for Parents". OII-USA. May 16, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  7. ^ "LGBT Rights: Frequently Asked Questions" (PDF). Free & Equal. United Nations. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Queer: A Reader for Writers". Oxford University Press. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  9. ^ Hida Viloria (December 10, 2012). "Open Letter: A Call for the Inclusion of Human Rights for Intersex People" (PDF). ILGA Europe. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  10. ^ "International Human Rights Day 2013: Sport Comes Out Against Homophobia". OutRight Action International. December 10, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Free & Equal Releases Video of Landmark Event Featuring United Nations Leaders, Sports Stars and LGBT and Intersex Activists". Digital Journal. December 17, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  12. ^ "Born Both". Hachette Book Group. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  13. ^ Lisa Rein (October 27, 2015). "Intersex applicants face passport discrimination, says lawsuit seeking option other than 'M' or 'F'". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  14. ^ Keith Coffman (October 27, 2015). "Intersex Navy Veteran Sues State Department For Denying Passport". The Huffington Post. 
  15. ^ Salim Essaid (July 23, 2016). "Intersex veteran sues over passport denial". CNN. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Intersex person Dana Zzyym denied passport, sues U.S. government". The New York Times. July 22, 2016. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  17. ^ Hailey Branson-Potts (July 20, 2016). "Intersex person who was denied a passport over gender designation sues U.S. government". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  18. ^ Elizabeth Daley (October 27, 2015). "Intersex Veteran Denied Passport For Refusing to Choose Gender, Files Lawsuit". The Advocate. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  19. ^ "No games for women with 'too much' testosterone". Al Jazeera. September 2, 2014. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  20. ^ Is being intersex a third gender?, Huffington Post Live, in 2013[dead link]
  21. ^ justices1989 (October 15, 2013). "Bebé intersexual #700 (3 3) Caso Cerrado". Retrieved January 12, 2017 – via YouTube. 
  22. ^ "Newshour, Dealing with Syria". BBC World Service. May 16, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  23. ^ "Germany Intersex;Pakistan Taliban leader reported dead, World Have Your Say". BBC World Service. November 1, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Videos". Hida Viloria. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  25. ^ "One in 2000". 1 January 2000. Retrieved January 12, 2017 – via IMDb. 
  26. ^ "Watch Hermaphrodites Speak! the first intersex documentary". OII-USA. June 3, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  27. ^ Hida Viloria (November 6, 2013). "Op-ed: Germany's Third-Gender Law Fails on Equality". The Advocate. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  28. ^ Hida Viloria (November 4, 2013). "Germany's Third Gender Law: Not What Intersex People Most Need". The Global Herald. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  29. ^ Hida Viloria (September 27, 2013). "Op-ed: Why We Must Protect Intersex Babies". The Advocate. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  30. ^ The IOC's unkind cuts, Roger Brigham, Bay Area Reporter, March 11, 2010.[dead link]
  31. ^ a b Hida Patricia Viloria; Maria Jose Martínez-Patino (2012). "Reexamining Rationales of "Fairness": An Athlete and Insider's Perspective on the New Policies on Hyperandrogenism in Elite Female Athletes". 12 (7): 17–19. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  32. ^ Gender Rules in Sport – Leveling The Playing Field, Or Reversed Doping?, Hida Viloria, The Global Herald, April 11, 2010.[dead link]
  33. ^ David Epstein (September 7, 2009). "Well, Is She Or Isn't She?". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Sport Comes Out Against Homophobia". UN Web TV. United Nations. December 10, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  35. ^ "At UN human rights event, Navratilova and Collins decry homophobic violence". UN News Centre. December 10, 2013. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 

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