On July 23, Andreja Pejic went to GLAAD’s New York City headquarters to speak about her transition from male to female.
The Brooklyn resident has been modeling since 2007, but now will only work with women’s clothing.
Here’s what you need to know about the model and her revelation.
1. She’s the Most Successful Transgender Model
September issue cover! pic.twitter.com/7ecz2Fbt
— Andreja Pejic (@andrejapejic) August 29, 2012
The 6 foot 1 model, who went from being Andrej to Andreja, has graced the covers of Elle and French Vogue.
She told Stylist about the evolution of her new name:
I added an “a” because it’s not a full transformation —it’s just an evolution. I thought about whether I should change it or not for a while…But I wanted to keep the “j” because that’s me. That’s my name.
No one has ever changed from a male to female model before, and Pejic said that her agency, DNA, supported her transition:
…I had a meeting with the women’s [team], and they’ve been very positive about moving from the men’s board to the women’s board, which is amazing. It’s something I guess no one’s ever done.
2. She Thanked Supporters
Pejic, who was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but raised in Melbourne, thanked fans for their support
on her Tumblr page:
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the love and support throughout the years. You’ve all helped me through this journey and I have learned a lot and really come into my own and the response to today’s announcement truly overwhelmed me and reminds me of why I chose to do this publicly.
I think we all evolve as we get older and that’s normal but I like to think that my recent transition hasn’t made me into a different individual. Same person, no difference at all just a different sex . I hope you can all understand that.
3. She’s in a Music Video & Movie
She costarred in David Bowie’s music video, “The Stars are Out Tonight,” with Tilda Swinton. Sofia Coppola also cast her in The Little Mermaid.
4. She Had Surgery
On her Facebook page, she talked about how gender reassignment surgery changed her life, saying,
“As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter.”
She told Style.com about the process leading up to the surgery:
Yeah, a lot of people view it as a plastic procedure, like you go to a surgeon and say, “Oh, I want to be a woman.” It’s so much more complicated than that. You have to get a psychiatric evaluation, which I started at the age of 13. I started seeing psychiatrists, and then I stopped when I started modeling, and I started again about a year and a half ago. But medical attention is crucial for any trans person because it helps you figure out who you are. You go through some really strict testing before you’re even allowed to have the surgery.
5. She Gave Advice to Others
On her Tumblr page, she offered her experience to people out there who may be in her situation:
I would also like to to reach out to all young gender non-conforming youth out there: I know it’s hard, I’ve been there, but remember it’s your right to be accepted as what you identify with—-you deserve the same respect as any other human being on this planet. As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter without having to alienate their past. Most importantly differences should not equal divisions, let’s all stand together in union.#betruebeyou