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.
â€œIt is very important to me in my life right now to break the taboo,â€ Hanne told USA Today. â€œI am proud to be intersex.â€
But wait â€” what does being intersex actually mean?
Glad you asked.
Intersex children are born with chromosomes that arenâ€™t strictly male or strictly female. And sadly, intersex children are frequently forced into having corrective surgeries so they can liveÂ as a â€œnormalâ€ male or female.
In Hanneâ€™s case, she was born with XY chromosomes â€” which are more typically found in males â€” 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.
So obviously Hanne got the surgery.
And then when she was 18, she got more surgery to help reconstruct her vagina.
Sounds painful. And according to Hanne, it was.
â€œIntersex people should be able to make their own choices about their bodies,â€ she said in a video for interACT, a nonprofit which advocates for intersex youth. â€œIâ€™m speaking out because itâ€™s time this mistreatment comes to an end.â€
Speak your truth, girl.