Belgian top model Hanne Gaby Odiele has been in the fashion industry for more than 12 years. If there is a designer you love or a style you crave, she might just be the reason why.
But this time, when the 29-year-old’s name was splashed across international media, it wasn’t for her wardrobe – it was for her words.
“Today might be one of the most important in my life, I’ve decided to announce with you all I’m intersex,” she wrote.
“I want to bring awerness and put to light the irreversible unnecessary non consent surgeries we often go trough as kids. [sic]”
In a subsequent press release for interACT, the model said “it is time for intersex people to come out of the shadows, claim our status, let go of shame, and speak out against the unnecessary and harmful surgeries many of us were subjected to as children".
"Intersex children born today are still at risk for these human rights violations. I will use my voice and platform to help end such abuses.”
Intersex people are born with sex anatomy - internal or external - that do not fit the typical definitions of "male" or "female". The term "intersex" is an umbrella term for the many variations on how these attributes present themselves.
Speaking to USA TODAY, Odiele explained she was born with an intersex trait known as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) - meaning she possesses the chromosomes typically found in men, XY, but is resistant to male hormones.