Nobody Needs To Know: A Memoir

Brilliance Audio. Aug. 2023. 6:54 hrs. ISBN 9798400137457. $35.99. MEMOIR
Pagonis’s memoir chronicles their life as an intersex individual. Born with androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), Pagonis has XY (male pattern) chromosomes, but because their body resists testosterone, they have physical traits of a woman. Raised as a girl, Pagonis shares that they often felt different from the girls around them and underwent harrowing surgeries intended to “fix” them and make them more feminine. As an adult, they learned of their AIS diagnosis and realized how those around them, including medical professionals and their own family, covered up their intersexuality. The memoir closes with a description of Pagonis’s advocacy work, including their work to end compulsory gender assignment surgeries for intersex children. Pagonis’s writing style is accessible and engaging, creating a casual and inviting atmosphere. Their anecdotes about their friends, family, and school years are heartbreaking yet endearing and inspirational. Additionally, listeners who know Chicago will enjoy Pagonis’s Chicago accent and their descriptions of familiar landmarks, schools, and neighborhoods.
VERDICT Pagonis’s memoir is an intimate look into their life being intersex, offering readers a glimpse into their triumphs, struggles, and journey toward self-acceptance. A raw, can’t-stop-istening experience.
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