Aubree Bernier-Clarke, Shawna Lipton, and Pidgeon Pagonis
A Normal Girl is a documentary short 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 gender reassignment 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 legal challenges and push back 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 cosmetic and medically unnecessary operations on intersex youth, as well as the broader intersex rights movement’s work spreading awareness about intersex identity, to end human rights abuses against people with intersex traits in the United States and worldwide.
Directed by Aubree Bernier-Clarke and produced by Shawna Lipton and Pidgeon Pagonis, A Normal Girl starts an essential conversation around the “I” in LGBTQI. The film will educate people about the natural occurrence of intersex traits in 1.5% of the population (the same rate as people with red hair), and help break down traditional notions of sex and gender by showing the true spectrum of bodies and sex variations that exist. A feature length version of the film would include interviews with medical professionals such as pediatric surgeons and endocrinologists who continue to perform medical interventions on intersex youth for the sole purpose of upholding binary categories of sex and gender, and also show the impact these procedures have had on intersex adults, including irreversible harm and lifelong trauma. Public awareness of this cause is pressing given the increased attention to gender issues in the media and discussions of transgender identity, while the natural occurrence of variations in sex development is still largely unknown.