While NYC just made history by issuing the first US intersex birth certificate and Pinterest has also gotten on board with the intersex inclusivity, there is still plenty of misinformation, miscommunication and misguided procedures taking place in the US when it comes to the condition that many know little about. That鈥檚 why one model has just revealed that she is intersex and sharing the story of the 鈥渢raumatizing鈥 surgeries she endured.

Hanne Gaby Odiele

29-year-old model Hanne Gaby Odiele has walked for top designers in the biz and posed for some of the most popular campaigns since breaking out from her home in Kortrijk, Belgium.

And now, Hanne is speaking out to let the world in on the fact that she is, in fact, intersex (which means 鈥a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn鈥檛 seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male鈥). According to The Washington Post, she recently cheerfully (and a bit nervously) sat in front of a camera to declare, 鈥淗i, I鈥檓 Hanne. And I鈥檓 excited to let the world know I鈥檓 intersex.鈥

She added, 鈥淚鈥檓 speaking out because it鈥檚 time this mistreatment comes to an end. It caused me way too much pain.鈥 She鈥檚 not speaking of the body she was born with, but instead, the unnecessary surgeries she endured as a direct result of our society鈥檚 views on the matter.

Hanne Gaby Odiele

鈥淣o one ever told me about intersex,鈥 Hanne admitted. 鈥淭hey told me I was abnormal, [that] I shouldn鈥檛 talk to anybody.鈥 When she was both 10 and 18, she had surgeries to remove undescended testes and for vaginal reconstruction, which she now feels she should not have undergone without knowing more about herself first.

In fact, she wasn鈥檛 even told she was intersex, but instead discovered it herself by researching her 鈥渟ymptoms鈥 online. When she came across a Dutch teenage magazine that had profiled girls like herself, she knew she had identified her condition. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 how I found out. I told it to my doctor: 鈥業s this me?鈥 He said, 鈥極h yeah, you finally found out.鈥欌

Though she can鈥檛 go back and change what she has personally gone through, Hanne wants to help others out there like herself. 鈥淭hese surgeries have caused way more harm than good. I don鈥檛 want to have any other kid to suffer the way I did. It鈥檚 time to break the stigma.鈥

Do you think intersex kids should wait until they鈥檙e adults to have surgery so that they鈥檙e fully informed about the sitch? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(h/t The Washington Post; photos via Ian Gavan + Neilson Barnard/Getty)