Zanariah Phillips 

Zanariah (Zizi) Phillips was raised in Rogers Park, Chicago. She attended school at Gale Academy where she discovered her gender truth through an event called Gender Bender Day. "It felt good to express myself as an unassigned gender". In high school she was a part of a Physical Education class focusing in dance. She soon succeeded from this and starting dancing at the All City Dance Ensemble in 2006. After that, Zizi started an internship for the Joffrey Ballet that ended in 2007. Zanariah is still building her technique and performance abilities with the aspiration to become a professional dancer. Zanariah is currently a part of the 40 to None Project, facilitated by Cindy Lauper in NYC. She is also attending a scholarship for Joel Hall Dance Company and working as a Trans-Advocate for the Night Ministry at a shelter for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness. As part of her advocacy work, she was featured in a segment at CBS Chicago News. I enjoy being in the space of YEPP because it offers an outlet for therapy through artistry. “Through enduring hardships in my life I persevered through some unknown strength, that I’ve learned to overcome bad obstacles in life.”