Our lineup of winners for this year’s — as every year — Power Gala made of truly extraordinary people. Without giving too much away before the party, we decided to sit down and get to know the nominees on a more whimsical level. Enjoy!
How brave are you to take on both Secretary of State John Kerry and the Colorado Passport Agency? Pretty damn brave, which is exactly why Dana was a natural choice for the 2016 Power Award — and for our cover! Dana, a retired Navy vet, was denied a passport when they (Dana’s preferred pronoun, along with them and their) applied. They’d never needed one while traveling with the Navy (it’s not required), but in order to attend a conference on intersex-related issues, the answer was a firm no. Why? Because without committing perjury, Dana couldn’t check the M or F gender marker. So they suited up and took it to court. The verdict is still out, but until then, meet Dana Zzyym.
If a genie popped out of a lamp and gave you three wishes …
I’d end intersex genital mutilation, I’d really like to stop all the hatred in the world, and … I’ll save the last for later.
What’re some of your pet peeves?
I let so many things slide in my personal life, but drivers who cut me off … little things like that. But I don’t know: I wasn’t even mad when someone hit me on my scooter. Things happen. I was more mad at the insurance company [for the lack of proper compensation]. I also don’t like companies who run roughshod over their employees, or abuse sacred land. We wouldn’t let an oil company run a pipeline through Arlington National Cemetery — why would we let them do that in South Dakota? It’s disgusting.
What were you like as a kid?
Afraid of everything. Because I had my genitals cut as a kid, I lacked trust in everybody and everything. It was childhood trauma that continued, because they damaged [some internal organs] in the process. It was all very painful.
What’s the best part about your day?
When I can get out and go anywhere and do anything on my bike. I like talking to people about intersex issues, too. That’s a good day.
If you could live in any era, which would you choose?
If I get to know what I know now? I’d like to be 20 in this era. Now. But only if I [get to know] what I know now.
For 2016, OUT FRONT joined forces with the Denver Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce for our annual Power Awards ceremony. Traditionally, we’ve called it our Power Party, but this year’s one-two combo makes it more of a gala, so we’re excited to announce a slight break in tradition to bring our community the Power Gala Awards! We’ll be holding the party at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in the grand ballroom. (We’re so stoked.) Our musical interludes are provided by none other than Ty Herndon, Alpha the Musical, and Spinphony.