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  • Photo du rédacteurAlexandra Mas

A Normal Girl

Dernière mise à jour : 29 mai 2019

"1.5% of people are born with anatomy that doesn’t fit typical definitions of female or male. It is common practice for doctors to perform genital surgeries on intersex infants—often with disastrous results. A Normal Girl brings the widely unknown struggles of intersex people to light, through the story of intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis."  

When we talk diversity, the question of ethnicity and gender comes naturally. The Colin Higgins foundation, created in 2015, is funding emerging LGBTQ filmmakers. Their specificity - supporting individuals and not organisations. In 2019 they marked their biggest participation with 50 movies. The American Pavilion is showcasing during the Cannes Film Festival the selected LGBTQ shorts running for the Colin Higgins price.

The winner is The Black Hat, directed by Sarah Smith; the movie is immersing us in a Hasidic man double life, a fascinating taboo intimacy. All 11 movies show emotional and very personal quests throughout fiction and, very often, true stories.

The most staggering short was intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonisʼ documentary: 

intersex Pidgeon Pagonis posing in Cannes after his movie screening
Pidgeon Pagonis, militant and film maker

"My entire life I was lied to, and made to lie. At 19, I discovered I was born intersex."

"A Normal Girl is a documentary film featuring activist Pidgeon Pagonis. After growing up believing they were a cancer survivor, Pidgeon was shocked to learn the truth: that they were born intersex, with physical traits that do not conform to standard definitions of male and female, and that they had undergone several so-called “normalizing” surgeries as a child. After discovering their own genital mutilation, speaking out and preventing the same trauma from happening to other intersex children became their life’s purpose.

Pidgeon continues to fight, while facing significant pushback from the medical community. The film records Pidgeon’s activism as they pressure the Chicago Children’s Hospital where they had their surgeries to stop performing elective operations on intersex youth, as well as raising awareness of the broader intersex rights movement to end human rights abuses against people with intersex traits in the United States and worldwide."


Militant for marginalized people in general and of course a strong activist for intersex awareness Pidgeon Pagonis has become a real model to LGBTQ and young intersex. 2015 was a milestone for the movement with #intersexstories twitterstorm on Intersex Awareness Day and receiving the Champion of Change Award from the Obama White House, along with 9 other artists.

In 2017, they were featured on the cover of National Geographicʼs January issue titled Gender Revolution.

Pidgeon is since invited to speak in conferences, launched an intersex- resource YouTube channel, co-founded Intersex Justice Project (IJP) and Too Cute to Be Binary, an intersex and non-binary art and clothing line, won a film price for the documentary movie “The son I never had: growing up intersex”, along with many other participations as activist speaker. #EndIntersexSurgery

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