Intersex Advocacy Series with Pidgeon Pagonis

Photograph of Pidgeon Pagonis

Pidgeon Pagonis, co-founder of the Intersex Justice Project, will be leading a series of virtual events focused on intersex advocacy on November 5-6, 2020.  Intersex is an umbrella term for differences in sex traits or reproductive anatomy that people may be born with or may develop in childhood.  Intersex activists work to raise awareness, to challenge shame and stigma, and to end surgical interventions on youth without consent.  Pagonis is a leading voice in discussions about intersex issues and was honored as an LGBT Champion of Change in 2015 by the Obama White House.

Registration is required for these free events.  

Series co-sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, CWRU LGBT Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Case Med PRIDE, Schubert Center for Child Studies, Social Justice Institute MetroHealth Department of Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, MetroHealth PRIDE Network, Studio West 117, The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, and Colors+ Youth Center.  


Kids Supporting Kids: Understanding & Advocacy for Intersex Youth

For LGBTQIA+ youth under 18 and their families

Date:  Thursday, November 5

Time: 6:00-7:30 pm

LGBTQIA+ youth and their families are invited to join writer and artist Pidgeon Pagonis and youth activist Banti Jaswal to learn more about the intersex community and find out how to advocate for themselves and for their intersex friends.

TO REGISTER:  Click here or send an email to schubertcenter@case.edu for Zoom link.


PRIDE Grand Rounds: Intersex Patients: Do No Harm

Date:  Friday, November 6

Time: 12:00-1:00 pm

PRIDE Grand Rounds is an annual event for clinicians and trainees focusing on the concerns of the LGBTQIA+ Community.  Pigeon Pagonis (Co-founder of The Intersex Justice Project) and Bria Grand Royal (Director of Engagement of InterAct) will provide insight into the needs and concerns of intersex patients throughout the lifespan, and will challenge clinicians to advocate for excellent healthcare for intersex persons. Pagonis and Royal have advocated for intersex persons at the White House, the ACLU and the Supreme Court.

TO REGISTER:  Click here to register and receive the Zoom link.


Bringing Cleveland Together to Support our Intersex Community

Date:  Friday, November 6

Time: 6:00-7:30 pm

Start the weekend with intersex activists and artists Pidgeon Pagonis and Koomah.  Together they’ll discuss life at the intersection of creativity, gender, health care and policy, sharing ideas and strategies for how Clevelanders can support our intersex communities.  Pidgeon, whose advocacy work was recognized by the Obama White House, and Koomah, who presents on disability justice, otherness, LGBT youth homelessness and a range of intersex topics, will lead the discussion, moderated by M. Carmen Lane.  Your questions are welcome during this important conversation.

TO REGISTER: Click here to register and receive the Zoom link.


Speaker Bios
Photograph of Pidgeon Pagonis

Pidgeon Pagonis (they/them) has slowly, oftentimes not so quietly risen to visibility as an activist on behalf of intersex people. Whether advancing intersex advocacy as the co-founder of the Intersex Justice Project, producing informational videos that go viral on Buzzfeed, creating art that centers intersex voices, appearing on the cover of National Geographic “Gender Revolution” special issue or being honored as a LGBT Champion of Change in 2015 by the Obama White House, Pidgeon has staked out a place at the fore of debates on intersexuality and otherness.

Photograph of Banti Jaswal

Banti Jaswal (they/them) is a freshman at Connecticut College. They are a member of interAct (a national advocacy organization of intersex youth). They have also been the keynote speaker at GLSEN Massachusetts fall conference, they have worked with the GLSEN Shine Team,  and had an essay and comic published in an international journal “YOUth & I” (a collection of writings and art by intersex youth). They have also been quoted in TeenVogue, interviewed, and on various social media outlets. They love being an advocate for greater understanding and acceptance of Intersex people. In their free time they enjoy burritos and snuggling on the couch with their dog.

Photograph of Bria

Bria Grand Royal (they/them) identifies as a queer, intersex, and non-binary masculine presenting black person. They are currently living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Bria’s intersex variation is Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). Bria works as the Director of Engagement for InterACT. Bria started doing advocacy work as an intern with interACT where they published articles for the ACLU, TeenVogue, and Them Magazine. They were also the first out intersex person to speak about  intersex issues on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Bria serves as an advisory board member for Astraea’s Lesbian Foundation for Justice as a part of their Intersex Human Rights Fund and is an advisory board member for the Non-binary & Intersex Recognition Project.

Photograph of Koomah

Koomah is an intersex & genderfluid interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker, and legislative policy advisor currently residing in Houston, Texas.  Koomah is co-founder of The Houston Intersex Society, board member of the Transgender Foundation of America & the Houston Transgender Unity Committee, founding member of CHAA (LGBTQ Collective of Houston Asian Americans), lead organizer of Gender Reel Houston, founding member of The Locas (Queer Latinx women artist collective), founder of iPOCA Collective (intersex People Of Color Artist Collective), & founder of Bad Date List: Houston sex worker safety resource project. 

Koomah gives presentations on Intersex 101, intersections of intersex and disability justice, LGBT youth homelessness, sex work vs trafficking, and harm reduction for organizations, medical providers, conferences, and universities.  Koomah has performed, showcased artwork, presented workshops & lectures, and screened films across the US & internationally.