Fashion model Andreja Pejic tonight shared her life and experience as a transgender woman exclusively with Entertainment Tonight, People.com and Style.com. The acclaimed model, who has appeared on covers of Elle and French Vogue, announced that she will only be modeling women's fashion going forward and that her agency supports her transition. She also told the press that she is supported by her family in Australia and friends around the world.
GLAAD worked with Pejic and her team this week as she prepared to tell her story.
She told GLAAD:
"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."
She also posted a selfie on Facebook with a message to her fans:
"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."
Pejic has received international attention modeling men's and women's collections on runways and in ad campaigns. She began modeling in 2007, and since then has been named to the Out 100 and received a NewNowNext award for style. She has been on the covers of Elle, New York, and many more, and walked the biggest international runways. In 2013, she co-starred in David Bowie's music video, "The Stars are Out Tonight," alongside Tilda Swinton.
Pejic is one among many trans models finding growing acceptance as visibility of trans people in the media increases. In 2008, Isis King made headlines as the first trans woman model to compete on America's Next Top Model. In 2010, model Lea T came out to the world as transgender in French Vogue. In January of this year, a Barney's New York ad campaign featured all trans and gender non-conforming models. Earlier this year, supermodel Naomi Campbell spoke out at the GLAAD Media Awards in support of Carmen Carrera and other trans models.
As blogger and advocate Monica Roberts has pointed out, the way was paved by trans models like Caroline Cossey, Tracy Africa Norman, and Roberta Close in previous decades, and now models like Ines Rau, Arisce Wanzer, Valentijn De Hingh, Geena Rocero, and many more are a growing presence in the fashion world.