Australian supermodel and budding actress Andrej Pejic – now known as Andreja - has come out as a trans woman, sharing her transition with the world through her Facebook page and an interview with People magazine.
Pejic told People, “One of my earliest memories is spinning around in my mom's skirt trying to look like a ballerina,” but that she truly came to terms with her gender at age 13. It was then that she discovered the terminology for her feelings and realized she didn’t have to live her life with the male identity she was assigned at birth. With the support of her family, she began taking puberty blockers, also known as hormone suppressors, which are medications that suppress the onset of puberty in a child. At age 17, an agent discovered Pejic and her modeling career began.
Since then, she has burst onto the fashion stage as an androgynous model hailed worldwide for her performance at 2011 Paris Fashion Week in both Jean-Paul Gaultier’s men’s and women’s shows. One of the top models in the world, Pejic, “[is] proud of [her] gender nonconforming career” but wanted fulfillment off the runway as well.
Earlier this year, she had sexual reassignment surgery, and now, having fully recovered, is stepping out as Andreja. Pejic cited trans advocated Laverne Cox and Janet Mock after declining to discuss her genitalia in an interview with People magazine. She told the magazine, “what's in between anyone's legs is not who they are.”
Pejic also explained why she believes it was important to come out and be honest about who she is, stating, “I think I have a social responsibility. I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue."
We applaud Andreja Pejic for her bravery and sharing her story with all the gender non-conforming youngsters who might not yet be in a place to come out to the world. Stories like this inspire everyone to live honestly and authentically as who we are meant to be.
Images via: justoff7thave.com, out.com, facebook.com