Protest Held Outside Lurie Children’s Hospital On Intersex Awareness Day

intersex 2 Protest Held Outside Lurie Childrens Hospital On Intersex Awareness Day

The protesters said Lurie Children’s Hospital should not perform any surgery – operations that are not reversible – until that child is 18-years old and old enough to make the decision. (WBBM/Steve Miller)

CHICAGO (CBS) — People who are intersex, born neither male nor female, protested Thursday at Lurie Children’s Hospital for Intersex Awareness Day.

“Stop intersex surgery,” the group chanted.

Pidgeon Pagonis, 31, lead the protest and is intersex.

“When I was one-years old they removed my undescended testes. And when I was 11 they performed a botched vaginoplasty that left me with scar tissue and insensitivity and other problems to make me, quote-unquote, a normal girl. Even though I have XY chromosomes.

“I should have been allowed to decide myself. Like all intersex people should be,” Pagonis said.

intersex 3 Protest Held Outside Lurie Childrens Hospital On Intersex Awareness Day

“Stop intersex surgery,” the group chanted. (WBBM/Steve Miller)

The protesters said Lurie Children’s Hospital should not perform any surgery – operations that are not reversible – until that child is 18-years old and old enough to make the decision.

They also added that they support surgery on intersex children only when it’s medically necessary.

Many advocates believe that means if the child’s life is threatened. While surgeons have interpreted “medically necessary” to mean removing organs that doctors suspect may turn cancerous.

intersex 1 Protest Held Outside Lurie Childrens Hospital On Intersex Awareness Day

Protesters added that they support surgery on intersex children only when it’s medically necessary. Many advocates believe that means if the child’s life is threatened. (WBBM/Steve Miller)

In a statement, Lurie Children’s Hospital said the hospital supports and acknowledges Intersex Awareness Day.

“We are committed to open communication with the intersex community and fully respect the diversity of opinions that exist in affected individuals, including those at the intersex protest at Lurie Children’s. We believe that continued efforts to foster healthy and open communication between intersex support groups and the medical community is vital to future improvements in patient care.

“Consistent with this philosophy, Lurie Children’s will be hosting the annual Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) and Difference of Sex Development (DSD)/Intersex advocacy meeting in the summer of 2018.”

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