AWI Short Film Competition

The Side Effects of Normal

An intersex person who was born with genital differences and was forced to undergo a genital “normalizing” surgery that they did not consent to as a child. As a result of medical trauma, they struggle with PTSD, dysphoria and dissociation as an adult. At first, we see them struggle with their mental health – experience flashbacks, depression, discomfort with their body, etc. – however, through advocacy, sharing their story, and meeting other intersex people, they begin to enter into recovery and ultimately, a much healthier reality.

Content heads up: depiction of PTSD, misgendering; discussion of Intersex Genital Mutilation; brief nudity; blood

Director: Mari Wrobi

Mari Wrobi (they/them) is a queer, nonbinary and intersex advocate born and raised in Sacramento, California. They currently work at the first and only shelter for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness in Sacramento; advocate with interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth through education and policy advocacy; and intern at the Gender Health Center, a non-profit that provides resources to TGNC folks in the area. Mari has been educating people on trans and intersex rights and health issues across the country in an effort to increase awareness and support of trans and intersex people since they were in high school. When they’re not advocating in their personal or professional life, they can be found playing Magic the Gathering with other LGBTQ Magic players or writing and performing spoken word about their experiences.

Learn More

Trauma & PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a response to a traumatic event or series of events. Something that is traumatic for one person might not...


Related Films

Explore similar films on our OLIVE film collection

View Film Library

moon square saturn.