This Supermodel Just Came Out As Intersex And She Has An Important Message

27 January 2017, 14:12 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

Hanne Gaby Odiele
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

The model was born with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.

29-year-old supermodel Hanne Gaby Odiele is no stranger to the spotlight. She has graced the pages of Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire and walked for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, and Rodarte. 

via tumblr

Hanne is best known for her modeling work and now the Belgian model has revealed that she is intersex. 

What does it mean to be intersex? 

The term intersex can cover a few different traits where a person's anatomy or sex organs don't necessarily fit into our binary understanding of male or female. 

Hanne was born with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. This means she was born with the XY (male) chromosome. She was also born with internal undescended testes, which doctors told her parents could later develop into cancer. 

According to interACT, one in 2,000 children is born intersex, which is similar to the proportion of people born with red hair (2%).

Hanne has become one of the most high profile individuals to speak about her intersex traits and experiences.

Hanne was never given an option about whether she wanted surgery or not. Because her parents were told that her internal anatomy could one day develop into cancer, her parents opted for surgery.

Now, she is advocating for the rights of children to decide later in life whether they're interested in having surgery or not. She told Buzzfeed that she is not against surgery but that doctors often use "scare tactics" to make parents choose.  

Hanne wants to help young people who feel alone when it comes to their identity and bodies. She is currently working with interACT to advocate for intersex youth.