The barrier-breaking model has come out as a transgender woman. Andreja Pejić, formerly Andrej, revealed to People magazine that she underwent sex reassignment surgery. Andreja had the surgery a few months ago. She chose to share her story publicly, to open up a discussion on reassignment surgery and in the hope that it will become less of a taboo subject.

Andreja posted this message on her Facebook account explaining her decision to go public:

“As a transgender woman I hope to show that after transition (a life-saving process) one can be happy and successful in their new chapter without having to alienate their past. Most importantly differences should not equal divisions, let’s all stand together in union. #betruebeyou”

Andreja has been an inspiration to many since she began modelling in 2011. She became known for breaking the traditional modelling boundaries when she booked both male and female jobs. Andreja has walked the runway for countless high profile designers including Jean Paul Gaultier (as the bride in the couture show, no less), secured beauty contracts and has appeared in numerous magazine editorials and on the covers of fashion magazines. After the surgery, Andreja says that she will focus solely on modelling women’s fashion.

Andreja also thanked her fans for all of their support throughout her career:

“I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for the love and support throughout the years. You’ve all helped me through this journey and I have learned a lot and really come into my own and the response to today’s announcement truly overwhelmed me and reminds me of why I chose to do this publicly.

I think we all evolve as we get older and that’s normal but I like to think that my recent transition hasn’t made me into a different individual. Same person, no difference at all just a different sex. I hope you can all understand that.”

It’s great that Andreja chose to open up about her sex reassignment surgery to inspire others and help foster a discussion on the topic, but the best thing is to know that she is staying true to herself and that she is happy.

[h/t: People]

(Photo: Getty Images)