The Life & Times of Andreja Pejic

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Andrej Pejic

Andreja Pejic began her life on the other side of the gender line in Bosnia and Herzegovina–though you wouldn’t really guess it listening to her speak. She is full of understanding of the travails on both sides of that line, and has come out the better for it. If transgender living teaches us anything, it is that you cannot judge a person by their sexual identity. It is simply part of who you are, and that in the 21st Century, you had better get with it, and see that the lines between masculine and feminine are being blurred and blown away more than ever. Andreja Pejic is not hardened or preachy about her experience, nor is she lording her position as a top transgender model over the rest of us. To her, it’s as natural as a walk in the park. And, what a walk!

A Brief History of Transgender Living

Andreja has brought her own sense of dignity and glamor to the LGBTQ world since her “coming out” in July 2014 following undergoing sex reassignment surgery–the first time the former Andrej Pejic walked the fashion model stage as Andreja. At only 24 years of age now, Andreja “always dreamed of being a girl,” going back as far as her earliest memories, those of hanging out with her mother while the latter dressed before the mirror. 2011 saw the former Andrej Pejic taking the fashion world by surprise as a transgender male¬†modeling women’s wear before the sex reassignment surgery.

Discovery and “The Change”

Between her discovery (as Andrej) at age 17 by a talent scout, and 2014, the year (s)he went under the knife and had sex reassignment surgery, Andreja existed as a self-styled “androgynous male model,” and regularly modeled both men’s and women’s styles for designers like Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs. In Andreja’s case, the flow from being a man to being a woman seemed to be as natural as a butterfly breaking free of its cocoon. This was evidenced in how effortlessly she stalked the catwalks, taking to women’s fashion modeling (when even a young male) like a bodybuilder lifts weights.

Before and After

Andreja‘s change from her former male self to her real identity appeared to have been as seamless as possible. And, given that the 6’1″ Pejic seemed to have a lot of convincing to do at that height, she walked right into womanhood as confident as one can possibly be about such a thing. She explains that although she had always dreamt of being a girl, she, as a boy in high school in Australia, had a difficult time blending in and trying to be one of the boys. Luckily, she had a huge amount of encouragement from her family, who, when told by Andrej that he’d rather be “she,” gave her nothing but emotional and moral support for her transgender identity. And, right at the point where she says, “I was going to finish high school as Andrej, transition, and forget about my past,” s/he was discovered by a modeling agent, and her life was forever changed.

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