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Transgender Model Andreja Pejic On Her Fashion Journey And New Challenges

Pejic spoke about the new challenges she faces and the reasons behind her name change following gender reassignment surgery earlier this year.

Source: Victor Victoria

Source: Victor Victoria

Model Andreja Pejic has spoken for the first time about what she hopes her career will look like following gender reassignment surgery earlier this year.

“I had the surgery early this year, and I told my men’s agent at DNA [Pejic’s New York agency] about two weeks before the operation,” she revealed. “I just said, ‘This is what’s happening,’ because I didn’t want anything to stop me. I had decided. And then recently, 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. Actually, all over the world I was [on both boards], but not in New York. I guess the American market isn’t as progressive.”

The Bosnian-born model also spoke candidly about her decision to transition now. Previously in interviews Pejic had stated that she did not identify herself as transgender, which she now concedes was not wholly truthful.

“The modelling thing came up, and I became this androgynous male model, and that was a big part of my growing up and my self-discovery,” she said. “But I always kept in mind that, ultimately, my biggest dream was to be a girl. 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’m taking that step because I’m a little older – I’m 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…. It was a personal decision. I took this step, and I said to myself, ‘My career is just going to have to fall into place around it’. So I hope that I can continue my success.”

Pejic also revealed how her new name in many ways symbolises her journey. “I added an ‘a’ because it’s not a full transformation – it’s just an evolution,” she told Style.com.

“I thought about whether I should change it or not for a while. In the West, Andrej isn’t really a masculine name. But I think [the name change] is something that my mum really wanted because, traditionally, Andrej is a Christian Orthodox name, and in that religion, it’s definitely a male name. So I kept the ‘j’ and added an ‘a’, which actually becomes a name that I don’t think exists. But I wanted to keep the ‘j’ because that’s me. That’s my name.”

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