Alexander Wang Muse Hanne Gaby Odiele Reveals She Is Intersex

The Belgian model has opened up about her struggle with being intersex in the hope of preventing medical procedures performed without the consent of children.

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Remember the name Hanne Gaby Odiele.

The Belgian model has just become the first high-profile figure to reveal she is intersex – someone who is born with sex characteristics such as genitals or chromosomes that do not fit the typical definitions of male or female.

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In an interview with USA Today, the model – who began her career at the age of 18 after being scouted at a music festival in Belgium – has spoken out about her intersex status and her wish to break the taboo surrounding gender.

'At this point, in this day and age, it should be perfectly all right to talk about this,' the Alexander Wang muse says.

Odiele was born with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), which is when a woman has XY chromosomes that are more often found in men.

According to the United Nations, up to 1.7 per cent of the population is born with intersex characteristics, a number similar 'to the number of red haired people'.

The U.N. highlights that intersex 'relates to biological sex characteristics, and is distinct from a person's sexual orientation or gender identity'.

In the interview, Odiele reveals she had undescended testes as child, which were later removed when she was 10 years-old.

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#tbt 1year ago #laserbeameyes

A post shared by Hanne Gaby Odiele (@hannegabysees) on

Despite learning her undescended testes could lead to cancer and would prevent her from developing as a female, she admits she was too young to fully comprehend what it meant.

'I knew at one point after the surgery I could not have kids. I was not having my period. I knew something was wrong with me,' she admitted.

At the age of 18, she then went on to have a vaginal reconstructive surgery, the psychological ramifications of which she still suffers from today.

'It's not that big of a deal being intersex,' she admits. However, the two surgeries have been distressing for the model, who married longtime boyfriend John Swiatek last summer.

'If they were just honest from the beginning... It became a trauma because of what they did.

'I am proud to be intersex. But very angry that these surgeries are still happening,' she adds.

The model – who has posed for the likes of Marc Jacobs – hopes that by vocalizing her gender issues, she can highlight the dangers of performing gender-related surgeries which are often done without a child's consent and understanding.

About last night 🍭🎉💥💅 thx for the good Times @marcjacobs celebrating #marcthenight 💄 by @tracyalfajora

A post shared by Hanne Gaby Odiele (@hannegabysees) on

'You can be whoever you want,' says Odiele. 'It doesn't matter.'

Truer words were never spoken.

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