Belgian model Hanne Odiele
is well-loved for her absolutely banging street style and striking Kirsten Owen vibes. In an interview published today, she's knocked her legend status up a couple of notches — opening up about being intersex in an effort to release the taboo on the subject.
"It is very important to me in my life right now to break the taboo," she says. "At this point, in this day and age, it should be perfectly all right to talk about this."
Born with the relatively rare Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS), she has XY chromosomes which genetically equals "male". She was born with testes, but after her parents were warned that she "might develop cancer" and "would not develop as a normal, female girl," she underwent surgery to remove them at age 10.
"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 says.
At age 18 she went through vaginal reconstructive surgery. "It's not that big of a deal being intersex," she says. "If they were just honest from the beginning... It became a trauma because of what they did."
The way society views intersex traits as a negative is something that Hanne wants to change, since they often lead to irreversible "corrective" surgeries. "I am proud to be intersex," she says, "but very angry that these surgeries are still happening."
Read the full interview here