Model Andreja Pejic Shares Her Gender Transition in New Documentary
The film aims to show a glimpse of gender reassignment surgery
It’s one of the final steps in her transition – from androgynous male model Andrej to the woman she has always wanted to be, Andreja.
In an clip exclusive to PEOPLE from Andrej(a) – The Documentary, Andreja Pejic is in her hospital bed, still recovering from sex reassignment surgery. Chatting on her cell phone, she tells a friend that she has been “optioned” – the fashion term for being put on hold – for a Donna Karan fashion show.
“I might [still] have a catheter,” Pejic says. But having walked runways for Marc Jacobs and Jean-Paul Gaultier, the 23-year-old knows that when fashion calls, she’d better answer. Ever the optimist, Pejic says of her possible medical accessory, “That could be a look.”
The film, which depicts Pejic’s physical, emotional and professional journey from man to woman, is directed by Eric Miclette and partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign which has raised more than $24,000 so far. Actor Jared Leto has also shown support for the film.
“I wanted to show the whole experience,” explains Pejic, who says she not only hopes to demystify the trans process but also help “young kids out there who are going through similar struggles.”
That’s why she gave filmmaker Miclette full access, allowing him to document nearly every aspect of her journey. “I was there the whole time,” says Miclette, who adds that there were moments when he struggled with not setting down his camera to comfort Pejic.
The film, which Miclette started as a passion project more than a year ago, shows some of those sad moments, but plenty of uplifting ones as well. Viewers eventually learn that Pejic did end up walking in the DKNY show, but she hasn’t yet had her first official post-op photo shoot.
“I still haven’t been shot as a woman,” Pejic told PEOPLE exclusively. “With fashion, it’s all about timing and holding out for the right thing.”
In the meantime, she’s busy going to castings and having meetings. When asked about her personal life and dating, she hesitates. “That’s the thing,” she says. “I haven’t really had the time.”
But the model has made time for her family since the surgery. In the past few months, she’s traveled to Europe to catch up with her mother and see her grandmother. “We had lots to talk about,” says Pejic of reuniting with her mom. “We had mother-daughter conversations for the first time. It was lovely.”