Debate Magazine

Transgender Model Compares the Struggle for Equal Rights Faced by LGBT Community to the Plight of Refugees

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Methinks the model doesn’t read much of the news.


Andreja Pejić is an Australian model and a transgender woman. Until 2014, Andreja was billed as an androgynous male model, self-described as living “in between genders”. Andreja is now a “woman” having undergone sex reassignment surgery in 2014.

The Daily Mail reports that Andreja Pejić has said that there is still much more work to be done in the fight for equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The struggle is real...

The struggle is real…

Speaking with i-D magazine recently, the 24-year-old Australian model compared her struggle and that of others to the ‘fight for refugees’. ‘I don’t believe that the fight for trans rights or African American rights is different from the fight against war, or the fight for refugees,’ she says.

Andreja was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time of the Bosnian War. She fled with her mother and brother to Serbia where they settled in a refugee camp near Belgrade and eventually moving to Melbourne in 2000.

Andreja says that she hopes that the future will see the public to reject old prejudices and ‘realizing that I’m not an alien’.

In February last year, Andreja made her triumphant debut on the catwalk as a woman following a year spent undergoing a series of gender reassignment procedures.

Speaking to Vogue about her decision to transition, Andreja revealed that she had previously been advised not to undergo the surgery because it would transform her from an interesting enigma into just another pretty girl. ‘There was definitely a lot of, “Oh, you’re going to lose what’s special about you. You’re not going to be interesting anymore. There are loads of pretty girls out there”,’ she explained. ‘It is about showing that this is not just a gimmick,’ she said of being transgender.


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