Chicagoan who always felt different growing up learns why at 18

October 25, 2013

By Katie Mingle

(Photo courtesy of StoryCorps)
Darlene Nava Munoz and Pidgeon Pagonis

Pidgeon Pagonis always felt a little different growing up.

She had vague memories and dreams of hospital visits, and there were things about her body she couldn’t explain. But she didn’t know why until she was 18. She was sitting in a course about the psychology of women at DePaul University.

PIDGEON: I hear about intersex in class, and I was like damn, that sounds like me.

She called her mom, and learned her parents had found out she was intersex at age 1, but had kept it a secret at the doctor’s urging.

StoryCorps’s mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. This excerpt was edited by WBEZ.

PIDGEON: I was like, ‘Hell no!’ I threw my phone at the cinderblock walls. I was pissed.

To find out what happens next, and how Pidgeon is now working at Advocates for Informed Choice to enlighten the next generation of kids and doctors, check out the audio above. She came to the Chicago StoryCorps booth with her friend, Darlene Nava-Muñoz, to tell her story.

Katie Mingle is a producer for WBEZ and the Third Coast Festival.