Top model Hanne Gaby Odiele believes intersex people are the ‘missing link’ the LGBTI community needs. The Belgian model, who has walked the runway for Chanel, DKNY and Prada, has said ‘sex is a spectrum’, much like gender and orientation.
In an exclusive interview with Gay Star News, the Vogue star is speaking out for Intersex Awareness Day.
Odiele was born with androgen insensitivity syndrome. Her doctors told her at the age of 10 if she did not have the testes surgically removed, she ‘might develop cancer’ and ‘not develop as a normal female girl’. So she had the surgery, and at 18, underwent vaginal reconstructive surgery.
Odiele came out in January this year, with the help of interACT.
‘The past few months has been truly amazing and also very healing for me as well,’ she said.
‘Comparing to many great examples we’ve seen in the trans community I think visibility is super important. Intersex is not the problem. Too often intersex people are forced into unfair binary standards. I think intersex proves sex, gender and sexuality is on a spectrum.'
She added: ‘We’ve been told to be ashamed of our bodies for a long time, there’s something wrong with us. I’m very happy being intersex and I wouldn’t want to change it for anything else. I do think we have an urgent need for intersex children to decide for themselves, and we need a law protecting us from harmful invasive unnecessary surgeries.'
‘I think visibility is super helpful not just for the 1.7% of people around the world, but also for their parents, peers and their partners. What’s not broken doesn’t need fixing.’