Supermodel Andreja Pejic talks about life after gender transition

Andreja Pejic

Andreja Pejic

How did one of the world’s most beautiful models go from being a boy bagging french fries at the golden arches down under to gracing the globe’s top magazine covers as a woman?  “When I was little, the idea of waking up as a girl was like a fairy tale,” Andreja Pejic tells ES magazine, a British publication.

“I had this idea that I’d meet a witch who would transform me. From the moment I found out that it was actually possible, I went to bed each night feeling that when it happens, it will be the best day of my life. And it was!”

But instead of a witch, it was a talent scout from the world of fashion that catapulted her from Australia, where she and her mother had lived since escaping Bosnia as a political refugee, to London. Although she started as a male model, Pejic revealed to ES that at that time she self-prescribed illegal puberty blockers from the internet.

And they worked. By 2011, she was modeling both male and female collections for French designer Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris. FHM selected her one of the 100 Sexiest Women in the World, while still identifying as male. Her dream was to earn enough money to go under the knife and then to quit modeling altogether.

That dream was at least partly fulfilled in 2014, when she underwent gender confirmation surgery. To describe her post-op experience, Pejic said she “felt complete” and has no regrets over losing her manhood. “God, no! I was like: ‘Throw it away!'”

“I’d planned on a pussy shower, but actually the time afterwards wasn’t easy as I had to work out what to do with my career.”

Pejic said she realized she was no longer interested in walking away from the runways, the photo studios and fashion houses: “I thought: ‘You may as well own this.’ I’ve invested a lot in this career. And now amazing things are happening, which are testament to the times we live in.”

Telling ES the best thing about being a woman is “power,” she reflects on her openness in discussing her transition. “I never imagined I’d be so public about it. Perhaps if I was in a different profession, I wouldn’t have worn ‘trans’ on my forehead. But there’s a difference between not wanting to make a big deal of something and fearing the effect it will have on my life. But it’s all out there now. If I go on a date, I don’t have to worry about that moment when he finds out.”

And Pejic is dating, a cisgender, straight New York real estate agent, she tells ES.

“It’s been great. And the best part is that he sees me as just another girl he has a special connection with. It’s nice to have that connection to a world outside activism and fashion.”

Dating a trans woman in 2016, she said, is akin to a white man dating an African-American woman in the 1960s. “But I would like to look beyond that,” said Pejic. “There’s more to me than this experience.”

Read more from the ES interview here.

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