Baton Rouge – Chicago-based intersex activist Pidgeon Pagonis will be keynote speaker for the ninth annual Louisiana Queer Conference during the weekend of March 30th at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The conference is a free, statewide, student-run event that aims to provide networking opportunities, education and social support to queer people and their allies.
Pagonis works with the interACT Advocates for Intersex Youth, produces informational videos and writes for the blog Everyday Feminism. They [Pagonis’s preferred pronoun] appeared on the cover of National Geographic’s “Gender Revolution” special issue in January 2017. Pagonis received honors from the Obama administration in 2015 as an “LGBT Champion of Change.”
Conference organizers chose Pagonis as keynote to represent one of many possible queer identities and educate attendees on an identity outside of the typical “LGBT.” The conference includes discussions geared toward and about people who are LGBT, asexual, and intersex. InterACT defines intersex as “an umbrella term that refers to people who have one or more of a range of variations in sex characteristics that fall outside of traditional conceptions of male or female bodies.” Both interACT and Pagonis aim to promote awareness of intersex people and protect intersex youth from medically unnecessary surgeries. Pagonis is intersex, and uses the pronouns “they” and “them” to reflect the fact that they were born neither male nor female. (Dallas Voice at Dallasvoice.com/intersex-activist-pidgeon-pagonis-to-speak-at-9th-annual-louisiana-queer-conference)