People Profile: Andreja Pejic
By Transgender Universe
Andreja Pejic was born on August 28, 1991 in what is now known as Bosnia-Herzegovina. During the Bosnian war Pejic’s family fled their country, living in refugee camps outside of Belgrade and eventually migrating to Melbourne, Australia after NATO led bombing in Yugoslavia back in 1999. Andreja, then known as Andrej, was just 8 years old. It was even at this early age when Pejic had tried to hide her femininity to avoid bullying. She recalls being more afraid of puberty and developing male features.
“SOCIETY DOESN’T TELL YOU THAT YOU CAN BE TRANS,” SHE SAYS, CALMLY DESCRIBING THE DISTRESS SHE EXPERIENCED LIVING LIFE AS A YOUNG BOY AT SCHOOL TO VOGUE MAGAZINE. “I THOUGHT ABOUT BEING GAY, BUT IT DIDN’T FIT. . . . “
According to People Magazine, at the age of 13 Pejic did a Google search of the term “sex change” and she credits this moment for changing her life. “The Internet gave me the sense that there were words to describe my feelings and medical terms,” said Pejic, who left realizing “this is what I need to do.” It was at this time Pejic took testosterone blockers to avoid male puberty.
Pejic was discovered as a model just before she was 17 years old while working at McDonalds in Australia. Within three years her career took off as she was working as an androgynous model. She was doing runway shows in Paris modeling both male and female clothes. She worked with star designers Jean-Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs. According to Pejic being a bride model for Gaultier was one of the greatest highlights of her career.
Andreja Pejic has gone on to appear on many top model lists. She appeared as a judge on Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model and starred in a video with David Bowie for the song “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” Now in 2015 she is the face of Make Up For Ever, making her one of the first transgender models to score a significant beauty campaign.
“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 completed her transition to female in 2014. She is now a transgender icon and an inspiration to many. Regarding her transition and how it would affect her career Pejic was quoted in People stating, “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 continues to have success as a female model and activist for the transgender community.