WATCH: Australian model comes out as transgender in a bid to help others
Australian model Andreja Pejic has come out as transgender in a bid to inspire others to be who they truly are.
The Bosnian-born model grew up in Melbourne as Andrej Pejic and has been a regular fixture on the international modelling circuit since 2010. Pejic has appeared in runway shows for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs as an androgynous model wearing both men's and women's clothing.
Speaking candidly with style.com Pejic admitted the challenges she faced throughout adolescence concerning her sexual identity and her desire to undergo sexual reassignment surgery (SRS).
“For most of my childhood, I knew that I preferred all things feminine, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t know that there was an explanation. I didn’t know about the possibilities. And then I went on sort of a boyhood campaign from age 9 to about 13.
“I tried to be a “normal” boy because I felt like my options were either to be a gay boy or a straight boy.”
“I didn’t feel that I was gay, so I didn’t know that there were any other options until the age of 13, when I went online and discovered that there’s a whole community of trans people out there. “There are doctors, there’s medical care, there’s research, and that was an eye-opener for me. “From that day on, I knew what I had to do."
Watch: Pejic speaks about her gender reassignment
Pejic underwent SRS earlier this year, a move which she now wishes to discuss in order to allow others to feel accepted and comfortable in thier own skin.
"I wasn't ready to talk about it before in a public way because I was scared that I would not be understood. I didn't know if people would like me. But now I am taking that step because I a m a little older - i am 22 - and I think my story can help people. My goal is to give a human face to this struggle, and I feel like I have a responsibility."
Pejic thanks her Twitter followers for their recent support.
:) - I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the love and support throughout the years.... http://t.co/LfUt207OdZ— Andreja Pejic (@andrejapejic) July 25, 2014