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A Normal Girl

Activist Pidgeon Pagonis was born intersex, not conforming to standard definitions of male or female, and experienced genital mutilation as a child. Now Pidgeon is fighting the medical establishment, seeking to end medically unnecessary surgeries and human rights abuses on intersex people in the United States and around the world.

An estimated 1.5% of the population is born with intersex traits. While most of these babies are healthy, their bodies are treated as a medical emergency. It is common practice for doctors to perform genital surgeries on intersex infants — often with disastrous results including total loss of genital sensation, lifetime synthetic hormone dependence, and being assigned a gender with which they do not identify. Through the story of Pidgeon’s remarkable journey and fight for bodily self-determination, A NORMAL GIRL brings the widely unknown struggles of intersex people to light.

"The unique power of A Normal Girl lies in its mystical ability to simultaneously anger you, empower you, and bring you joy. If you only watch one documentary this year, let it be this beautiful film...share it with your children, parents, partners, and medical providers."
Georgiann Davis, PhD, author "Contesting Intersex: The Dubious Diagnosis," Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Nevada

"With searing testimony, humor, and fearlessness, this powerful documentary dispels widespread and harmful misconceptions about intersex. By delving into the norms and ideas that drive medical interventions on people with intersex variations, A Normal Girl upends the all-too-common idea that surgically 'normalizing' kids is the answer here."
Katrina Karkazis, PhD, MPH, author "Fixing Sex: Intersex Medical Authority and Lived Experience," (Duke UP 2008) and Senior Visiting Fellow, Global Health Justice Partnership, Yale University

"A powerful call to action to end non-consensual, medically unnecessary, and high risk infant genital surgeries, A Normal Girl is a must-see documentary that challenges us to view sex, gender, and human rights beyond binaries."
David A. Rubin, PhD, author "Intersex Matters: Biomedical Embodiment, Gender Regulation, and Transnational Activism" and Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, University of South Florida

"A Normal Girl is an honest and brave narrative exposing the profound harms suffered by intersex children and their parents at the hands of doctors across the country and the globe and offering hope as the next generation fights for their bodily autonomy and human rights."
Kimberly Zieselman, JD Executive Director, interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth

"A Normal Girl is a remarkable film that is perfect for teaching in the undergraduate and graduate classroom. In a brief fifteen minutes, the film articulates the experience of so many of us who were born intersex and had unnecessary genital surgeries. It captures the struggle and the achievements of intersex activism, by focusing on the remarkable journey and work of Pidgeon Pagonis, who is both intersex and an activists. What we experience in watching the film is the way in which the rhetoric of normal goes from justifying medical and social violence to becoming something that encompasses all embodiments and genders. The film is not satisfied to critique normality but proposes a new normal, one that recognizes that intersex is beautiful."
Christopher Breu, Professor of English, Illinois State University

"A NORMAL GIRL powerfully illustrates the human impact of unnecessary surgical interventions on intersex infants, as well as the remarkable drive and resilience that intersex activists have shown as they’ve built a community and mobilized to put a stop to the practice."
Ryan Thoreson JD Candidate, Yale University and Author of "Beyond Equality: The Post-Apartheid Counternarrative of Trans and Intersex Movements in South Africa"

Citation

Main credits

Bernier-Clarke, Aubree (film director)
Bernier-Clarke, Aubree (director of photography)
Lipton, Shawna (film producer)
Pagonis, Pidgeon (film producer)
Pagonis, Pidgeon (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Editor, Kai Davies; director of photography, Aubree Bernier-Clarke; composer, Anthony Rhodes.


Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

Activism, LGBTQIA, Sexuality, Body Image, Gender, Human Rights, Public Health

Keywords

Human Rights, Gender Issues, Intersex Awareness; "A Normal Girl"; Women Make Movies