Model Andrej Pejic stormed the fashion scene a few years ago with his striking androgynous looks and ethereal beauty, wearing everything from men’s and women’s clothing on the runway and in campaigns. But now Pejic has revealed that she’s transgender and has changed her name to Andreja.
According to GLAAD, the 22-year-old Australian model told several media outlets last week that she will no longer wear men’s clothing while modeling and that her agency is fully backing her decision to transition.
“To all trans youth out there, I would like to say respect yourself and be proud of who you are. All human beings deserve equal treatment no matter their gender identity or sexuality. To be perceived as what you say you are is a basic human right,” said Pejic to GLAAD.
Pejic also posted a selfie on Facebook with the message:
“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.
“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.”
Pejic now joins a growing list of notable transgender models, including Carmen Carrera, Lea T, and former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Isis King, who are making groundbreaking strides for transgender people in fashion with their success. We commend Pejic on her decision to live her life authentically and we wish her continued success in modeling. –nicholas robinson