Hida Viloria

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Hida Viloria in 2016

(The following text or part of it is quoted from the free Wikipedia article Hida Viloria:)

Hida Viloria (born 29 May 1968 in New York, NY) is a Latine American writer, author, producer, and human rights activist.[1][2]

Viloria is intersex, non-binary, and gender non-conforming, using they/them pronouns.[3] They are known for their writing and their intersex and non-binary human rights activism and as one of the first people to come out in national and international media as a nonbinary intersex person.[4] Viloria is Founding Director of the Intersex Campaign for Equality.[5][6]

Opposing nonconsensual medically-unnecessary surgeries

In 1996, Viloria participated in the first international intersex retreat. They reported that, eager to meet people like themself, instead they "met people who'd been traumatized and physically damaged by cosmetic genital surgeries and hormone treatments they'd been subjected to in infancy and childhood, and it moved [Viloria] to become an intersex activist."[7][8]

Viloria has been advocating publicly against the use of medically unnecessary cosmetic surgeries and hormone therapy on intersex infants and minors, also known as intersex genital mutilation, since 1997,[9] reaching audiences of over one hundred million via appearances in various documentaries about intersex people, including the first Hermaphrodites Speak!, and most notably on ABC's 20/20,[10] The Oprah Winfrey Show,[11] in Spanish on the Emmy nominated Spanish language show Caso Cerrado,[12] and at the UN Headquarters in New York City for Human Rights Day 2013.

In 2004, Viloria testified before the San Francisco Human Rights Commission on the need to ban medically unnecessary cosmetic genital surgeries on intersex infants and children.[13]

Between 2010 and 2017 Viloria published numerous essays speaking out against nonconsensual medically unnecessary surgeries in publications including CNN.com, The Advocate, The Huffingtion Post, and the Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics. Their memoir Born Both: An Intersex Life examines and critiques intersex genital mutilation extensively.

Opposing "disorders of sex development"

In 2006, the international medical establishment replaced the terms "hermaphrodite" and "intersex" with the term "disorders of sex development". Viloria is among a handful of American intersex activists who opposed the use of the term "Disorders of Sex Development" since its introduction. In 2007, they publicly critiqued the label and the homophobic and transphobic reasoning behind the replacement of 'intersex' with DSD.[14] They also argued that being raised to define oneself as disordered is psychologically harmful to intersex youth:

While some doctors and parents are, according to supporters of the term like Chase (co-author of the DSD Guidelines and founder and director of ISNA), more comfortable referring to us as having "disorders" than associating with a label supported by homosexuals and transsexuals, I do not believe adopting a pathologizing label to distance ourselves from these groups is a solution, to say the least.... I know that it would have harmed my self-esteem to be raised under a term which named my difference a 'disorder.' Even complete ignorance about what to call myself was preferable as I was able to form positive beliefs about my unique qualities.
– Hida Viloria[15]

National and global affiliations and activism

In spring 2010, Viloria joined the Organisation Intersex International (OII), the first international intersex organization, was appointed Human Rights Spokesperson, and began lobbying against discriminatory regulations for intersex women athletes. In spring 2011, Viloria was voted Chairperson of OII, upon founder Curtis Hinkle's retirement. Viloria stepped down in November 2017, when Intersex Campaign for Equality left OII.[16]

In the fall of 2011, Viloria founded the Intersex Campaign for Equality, to work for equality and human rights for intersex Americans. Their first action, in December 2011, was contacting former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to request inclusion of intersex people in human rights protocols and protections. In early 2012, they received a response from the U.S. Department of State in early 2012 affirming the importance of including the intersex community in human rights work.[17]

In 2012, Viloria spearheaded the first unified, global call for human rights by and for intersex people, in a letter signed by thirty leading intersex advocacy organizations, to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.[18]

In 2013, Viloria served as one of three intersex co-organizers of the Third International Intersex Forum in November 2013, in Malta, which led to the creation of the Malta declaration, the most widely agreed upon statement of human rights' demands by the international intersex advocacy community.[19]

In 2016, Viloria became a board member of Genital Autonomy America (GA America), an advocacy organization working with groups worldwide who are seeking to end non-therapeutic genital cutting of all female, male, and intersex infants and children.

External links


  1. REFnews Pham, Larissa (20 March 2017)."Intersex Activist and Writer Hida Viloria on Being 'Born Both'", Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  2. REFnews Gore, Ariel (24 May 2017)."Born Both: Intersex and Happy", Psychology Today. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  3. REFweb About – Hida Viloria. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  4. REFweb (25 July 2017). Hida Viloria Bibliography, Hida Viloria. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  5. REFweb (24 February 2020). Lambda Legal Urges Tenth Circuit to Uphold Ruling in Favor of Intersex Vet Seeking Accurate Passport, Intersex Campaign for Equality. Retrieved 7 January 2021.
  6. REFweb Meet The Team – Intersex Campaign for Equality, intersexequality.com. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  7. REFweb (2012). Intersexion, Intersexion Film, Ponsonby. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  8. REFnews Viloria, Hida (11 April 2010)."Gender Rules in Sport – Leveling The Playing Field, Or Reversed Doping?", Global Herald. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  9. REFnews (11 September 1998)."Inside Edition Gets It Right and Presents Out, Unashamed Intersexed People: Their Words, Their Lives and No Disguises", ISNA. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  10. REFnews (19 April 2002)."Controversy Over Operating to Change Ambiguous Genitalia", ABC 20/20. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  11. REFnews (2007)."Hida on Oprah: Growing Up Intersex". Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  12. REFweb Viloria, Hida (September 2013). Cosmetic Genital Surgery/Sex Re-assignment of Intersex Babies is wrong: Case Closed, Hida Viloria Blog. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  13. REFnews Patel, Sunil (25 November 2005)."San Francisco Human Rights Commission on Intersex", Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria (GLHV). Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  14. REFnews (10 October 2007)."Hida Viloria Tells Us What She Really Thinks", SF Weekly.
  15. REFweb Viloria, Hida. Hida Viloria Tells Us What She Really Thinks, SF Weekly. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  16. REFweb (8 November 2017). New Mission and Independent Status for IC4E as Viloria resigns from post as OII Chair, Intersex Campaign for Equality.
  17. REFnews (23 February 2012)."OII receives reply from US Department of State to OII Chairperson Hida Viloria's letter asking for intersex inclusion in LGBTI – not LGBT-only – global human rights efforts", Intersex Campaign for Equality. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  18. REFweb Open Letter to the UN OHCHR: 1st global call for human rights by & for intersex people! – Intersex Campaign for Equality.
  19. REFweb (22 July 2013). 3rd International Intersex Forum in Malta, ILGA Europe.