High Fashion Model Hanne Gaby Odiele Just Came Out as Intersex

This morning, Belgian high-fashion model Hanne Gaby Odiele, who is one of Alexander Wang’s favorite muses, came out as intersex.

“It is very important to me in my life right now to break the taboo,” Hanne told USA Today. “I am proud to be intersex.”

But wait — what does being intersex actually mean?

Glad you asked.

Intersex children are born with chromosomes that aren’t strictly male or strictly female. And sadly, intersex children are frequently forced into having corrective surgeries so they can live as a “normal” male or female.

In Hanne’s case, she was born with XY chromosomes — which are more typically found in males — and internal, undescended testes.

So, when she was 10, her parents were told she might get cancer or not develop like a normal female unless she got surgery.

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So obviously Hanne got the surgery.

And then when she was 18, she got more surgery to help reconstruct her vagina.

READ MORE: 6 Ridiculous Things Doctors Did to Our Vaginas In History 

Sounds painful. And according to Hanne, it was.

“Intersex people should be able to make their own choices about their bodies,” she said in a video for interACT, a nonprofit which advocates for intersex youth. “I’m speaking out because it’s time this mistreatment comes to an end.”

Speak your truth, girl.

[H/T Cosmo]

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