andrejpejicpage:

Q&A: EXCLUSIVE: Andreja Pejic Is in Her Own Skin for the Very First Time

http://www.style.com/stylefile/2014/07/andreja-pejic-sexual-reassignment-surgery/

July 24, 2014 7:00pm

You won’t be seeing any more of Andrej Pejic, the androgynous male model who rose to fame in 2010 after Carine Roitfeld had him photographed in womenswear for Paris Vogue. An onslaught of editorials followed (including a shirtless Dossier Journal cover that was essentially banned by Barnes & Noble for fear their customers would think he was a naked woman), and he even walked as the beautiful bride in Jean Paul Gaultier’s Spring ’11 Couture show (below). But Andrej’s days on the runway are over. However, Andreja’s career is just getting started. 

Earlier this year, Andreja underwent sexual reassignment surgery (SRS). She always knew she was a woman, but her body, or at least parts of it, didn’t match up. Yesterday, the model trekked from her current Williamsburg digs to LGBT advocacy group GLAAD’s Chelsea headquarters to speak, for the first time, about her transition. Donning a white crop top and embellished Ports 1961 skirt, Pejic, who was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina but was raised in Melbourne (hence her charming Aussie accent), looked as angelic as ever. “I feel good,” she told me before sitting down. It showed. 

You can bet you’ll be seeing quite a bit of Andreja Pejic—she has a role in Sofia Coppola’s forthcoming rendition of The Little Mermaid, and plans for fashion week are already in the works. Here, the six-foot-one stunner (who, it should be noted, has cheekbones that could cut glass) opens up to Style.com about her SRS, the challenges of being a transgender model, and why, at long last, she’s “ready to face the world.”
— Katharine K. Zarrella 


How do you identify? 
I identify as a female. 

How did you identify before the sexual reassignment surgery? 
I figured out who I was very early on—actually, at the age of 13, with the help of the Internet—so I knew that a transition, becoming a woman, was always something I needed to do. But it wasn’t possible at the time, and I put it off, and androgyny became a way of expressing my femininity without having to explain myself to people too much. Especially to my peers [who] couldn’t understand things like “trans” and gender identity. And then obviously the modeling thing came up, and I became this androgynous male model, and that was a big part of my growing up and my self-discovery. 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. 

You seem to have had a firm understanding of your identity at an early age. Was growing up as a boy difficult? 
Gender dysphoria is never an easy thing to live with, mainly because people don’t understand it. 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. 

Some people write off SRS as a purely cosmetic surgery. Can you speak a little bit about that, and why it’s not the case? 
Yeah, a lot of people view it as a plastic procedure, like you go to a surgeon and say, “Oh, I want to be a woman.” It’s so much more complicated than that. You have to get a psychiatric evaluation, which I started at the age of 13. I started seeing psychiatrists, and then I stopped when I started modeling, and I started again about a year and a half ago. But medical attention is crucial for any trans person because it helps you figure out who you are. You go through some really strict testing before you’re even allowed to have the surgery. 

Are there any other myths you’d like to debunk? Or is there anything else you want the general public to understand about SRS and transgender people?
 I would like them to understand that we are people. We’re human beings, and this is a human life. This is reality for us, and all we ask for is acceptance and validation for what we say that we are. It’s a basic human right. 

You’ve legally changed your name from Andrej to Andreja. Why was that important to you? 
I added an “a” because it’s not a full transformation —it’s just an evolution. 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 mom 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. 

How did your modeling agents react when you told them you were having SRS? 
It’s been an interesting experience. I had the surgery early this year, and I told my men’s agent at DNA about two weeks before the operation. 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. 

Weren’t you on both the men’s and women’s boards before the surgery? 
Actually, all over the world I was, but not in New York. I guess the American market isn’t as progressive. 

How do you feel your transition from an androgynous male model to a female model will impact your career? 
I hope everything goes well. [SRS] 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. I think I’ve shown that I have skills as a model, and those skills don’t just go away. I’ve had experience. I’ve been around the block. 

Androgyny and the transgender community seem to be at the center of the cultural and, more specifically, the fashion conversation at the moment. Hood by Air by Shayne Oliver, who enlisted voguers to model at the Fall ’14 show, is a prime example. Where do you think this focus on the transgender community is coming from? And how do you feel about it? 
The trend of androgyny and the exploration of trans beauty started around 2010, and that’s when Lea T and I both started [modeling]. Everyone was kind of saying, “Oh, it’s just a trend, it’s going to go away,” and it hasn’t. I think that’s because it represents a social layer of people who feel that they don’t want to conform to traditional forms of gender—who feel traditional forms of gender are outdated. That social base feeds the trend, and it feeds the exploration in fashion. 

Do you feel the fashion industry has been welcoming and supportive throughout your career? 
I got my success very quickly, and the media attention has been pretty positive. People like Jean Paul Gaultier, Carine Roitfeld, and Juergen Teller have been extremely supportive. But my biggest challenge was to not always be pigeonholed, and also to make [androgyny] commercially successful, because when I started, it was such a new thing. Still, there are a lot of roadblocks, particularly when working with cosmetic brands or perfumes or those sort of commercial, corporate things. It’s been more difficult to break into that world than “fashion” because it hasn’t been done before. They don’t have any market research, and people in that world aren’t risk takers. You have to prove to them over and over that you are liked by people, you have a skill, and you can sell a product. 

Is landing a beauty campaign something you aspire to do? 
It’s a goal for any model! It would be cray cray. But we’ll see. I’m happy to keep doing what I love, and for me it’s like I’m already living the dream. 

Have you had any experiences in castings, etc., that have been particularly frustrating? 
Oh, yeah, especially in the beginning, when I first moved to London. It was like, I’d walk into the boys’ casting, and they were like, “No…you don’t belong here.” And then at the girls’ casting, they were like, “Why are they sending us boys?” So it took time for everyone to get on board. It wasn’t all sweet sailing. 

What do you think the fashion industry can do to further embrace the transgender community? 
It would be lovely to live in a world where trans-female models were treated as female models, and trans-male models were treated the same as male models, rather than being a niche commodity. I think that that is the biggest struggle in all this. It’s almost like African-American models back in the nineties. It was like, “Oh, you can do this, but you can’t do that. You can do runway, but no print.” So I think that’s what needs to change. 

When I first met you last year, you already seemed like a pretty confident individual. Do you feel more comfortable—or more you— since having the SRS? 
I think from my teenage years, when I decided I needed to express my femininity, I was happy with the way I looked. But SRS is kind of the last part—it’s sort of the icing on the cake. It makes me feel freer than ever. Now I can stand naked in front of a mirror and really enjoy my reflection. And those personal moments are important. 

But you’ve always been gorgeous. Did you not enjoy your reflection before? 
Not fully naked. 

I know you’re close with your mom. Has she been supportive throughout this transition? 
I came out to my mom at the age of 14. She didn’t understand it at first, but she’s been very supportive since. 

Has going through this transition as a public figure been very difficult? 
There’s a difference between coming out to your family and close friends, and coming out to the whole world and opening yourself up to judgment. When I was younger, I just wasn’t ready for that. Even now, it’s hard to navigate. I try to concentrate on myself and what I really need, but there are so many other factors that go into it. You have to figure out timing, you have to figure out agencies. Public perception influences that. It’s a lot of pressure, and modeling is a lot of pressure anyway. I think most models have to live up to something, and they struggle with that. So to have that on top of this, there have definitely been difficult moments. 

If I may ask, how do you think the SRS will impact your personal and romantic life? Is that something you’re excited about exploring? 
Yeah, I’m very happy with this new situation, and I’m happy to keep exploring. 

Are you dating anyone? 
No, I’m single. I’m open to love, so I’m taking some time off for myself now. I think that’s necessary. We’ll see. But you know, I feel more comfortable than ever, more confident than ever, and I’m ready to face the world.
Photos: Giampaolo Sgura for Ailvian Heach; Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com; Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott for Vogue Paris; Dusan Reljin; Tony Duran

andrejpejicpage:

Andrej Pejic Now Andreja After Sex Reassignment Surgeryhttp://www.people.com/article/andrej-pejic-sex-reassignment-surgery-exclusive

By Blaine Zuckerman
updated07/24/2014 at 07:00 PM EDT

In 2011, Andrej Pejic was the breakout star in the fashion world, turning heads as a male model who walked the womenswear runway shows for powerhouse designers such as Marc Jacobs and Jean Paul Gaultier.
But on a recent July afternoon in New York City, a gold nameplate necklace in script letter falls at just the right spot on the model’s chest so that any onlooker could clearly read “Andreja” and subtly understand the message Pejic is now revealing to the world: The renowned androgynous model underwent sex reassignment surgery earlier this year.
“I want to share my story with the world because I think I have a social responsibility,” Pejic, 22, tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I hope that by being open about this, it becomes less of an issue.”

The Early Years
“I always dreamt of being a girl,” explains the Serbian-born model. “One of my earliest memories is spinning around in my mom’s skirt trying to look like a ballerina.” 

But things changed when her family moved to Australia. By age 9, Pejic came to receive what she describes as “a social message, from my brother and friends at school,” that it was time to put away the dolls and skirts that she favored.
“I wanted to be a good kid and I wanted to please my parents,” she says. With little success, Pejic went about trying to hang out with the boys and participate in team sports. “I kept my dreams and my imagination to myself and became pretty good at acting as a boy. But I was hiding who I was.”

The Discovery
At the age of 13, in Burrmeadow, a suburb of Melbourne, Pejic’s course turned digital. “I went into the library and typed ‘sex change’ into Google and my life changed,” she recalls. The search results for the now-antiquated term yielded a flood of information and relief. “The Internet gave me the sense that there were words to describe my feelings and medical terms,” says Pejic, who left realizing “this is what I need to do.”
Going through government regulated channels for a minor to transition required lengthy court processes and she had neither the cash to cover legal fees nor the time, as she knew male hormones were taking effect on her body. “I knew puberty would turn me into something like my brother and father,” notes Pejic, who began taking puberty blockers.
Raised primarily by her mother, she always had her family to lean on throughout her journey. “When I told my mother, grandma and my brother, they were all very supportive,” Pejic, who eventually reintroduced the feminine flair into the everyday style she had shunned and developed a plan for her future, says. “I was going to finish high school as Andrej, transition, and forget about my male past.”

A Designer Detour
Pejic’s plans were put on hold when she was discovered at age 17 by a modeling agent. “It was an opportunity to see the world and gain some financial stability,” she explains.
While her name was listed among the male models at top agencies around the world, she found herself in the enviable position of modeling both men’s and women’s fashions. She cites one 2011 runway moment as her finest modeling memory. “Being a bride for Gaultier was a very special moment for me,” says Pejic of walking the designer’s spring haute couture show.
But “about a year and a half ago, I reevaluated things,” says Pejic. “I was proud of my gender nonconforming career. But my biggest dream was to be comfortable in my own body. I have to be true to myself and the career is just going to have to fit around that.”
Pejic began meeting with doctors in the U.S. to continue her transition with sex reassignment surgery.
A New Beginning
Pejic recalls the day she’d been dreaming of for so many years. 

"I was happy the moment had come – as happy as you can be before a surgery," she tells PEOPLE. Her physical recovery from the process has been steady. "It was about three months before I felt like myself again," she admits.
When asked about the extent of her surgery, “I completely agree with Laverne Cox and [former PEOPLE.com staff editor] Janet Mock,” explains Pejic of notable transgender women who choose not to publicly discuss their sexual organs and instead prefer to focus on advocating and activism within the trans community. Plus, “what’s in between anyone’s legs is not who they are.”
Although Pejic has had several serious boyfriends in the past few years, she’s currently single but adds, “I’m open to love.”
But more important, she’s loving this new chapter in her life. “Every day is like a new revelation,” she says. “I’m more comfortable than ever. I feel at a 100 percent.”


for-the-human-race:

From Kyo’s 2nd poem book

l-e-v-i-ackerman:

A CHOICE WITH NO REGRETS IS GETTING ANIMATED
"Kodansha’s Aria shojo magazine revealed on Tuesday the preview image of their November issue, which will premier an Attack on Titan spin-off manga centering around Levi and Erwin’s past. The cover shows a silhouette of Levi with the note on the left reading, “How will a thug from the royal capital be able to walk forward alongside humanity’s strongest!?”
Hikaru Suruga is drawing the Shingeki no Kyojin Gaiden: Kuinaki Sentaku Prologue (Attack on Titan Side Story: A Choice with No Regrets Prologue) manga while writer Gan Sunaaku of Nitroplus is in charge of the manga’s scripts.
Original Attack on Titan mangaka Hajime Isayama’s manga has been the inspiration to Saki Nakagawa’s Shingeki! Kyojin Chugakko, a comedic spin-off of the original manga. Isayama’s work is also inspiring Satoshi Shiki’s manga, based on Ryo Suzukaze’s light novel, Attack on Titan: Before the Fall”
(source)

"A Choice with no Regrets" OVA to be released in December

ackersexual:

image

The ACWNR OVA will be bundled with Volume 15 this December, preorders are already open!

YASSSS




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