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In this week’s ES Magazine, model and fashion icon Andreja Pejić has spokenly candidly about the runway, growing up in a working class household and life as an openly transgender woman.
The model and activist stormed to fame on the Jean Paul Gaultier runway and was once named as one of FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women. In the interview, Pejić talks of her lifelong journey and the complexities of being trans in a cis world. She likens her search for gender recognition to a magical quest.
‘When I was little, the idea of waking up as a girl was like a fairy tale,’ she says, speaking of how fantastical the idea of being her authentic self seemed when she was younger. ‘I had this idea that I’d meet a witch who would transform me.’
She then speaks of the liberation she felt when she was able to transition: ‘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!’
She also discusses the pressures of growing up in a working class environment, facing assumptions from her mother that she must be gay, and holding as an ideal the heteronormative model of love. Aside from her young life, Pejić talks about her role in changing the perceptions of the transgender community and encouraging discourses about gender fluidity and the spectrum of sexuality.
She also touches on the benefits of undergoing her transition publicly.
‘I never imagined I’d be so public about it,’ she says. ‘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 out of something and fearing the effect it will have on my life. But it’s all out there now.’
Pejić explains, however, that she doesn’t regret ‘coming out’ in public. ‘If I go on a date, I don’t have to worry about that moment when he finds out.’
The full interview appears in this week’s issue of ES Magazine, out Thursday 7 July 2016.