Sudanese model Aweng Ade-Chuol is fighting back against the rampant homophobia she's endured since marrying her wife in a most powerful way.
Both the model and her wife are gracing the cover of the January 2021 issue of ELLE UK.
The January 2021 issue of ELLE UK featuring Sudanese model, Aweng Ade-Chuol and her wife, Lexy. pic.twitter.com/8aapn11Dde
— Asanda Sizani (@AsandaSizani) December 1, 2020
The iconic cover shows Ade-Chuol and her wife, Lexy embroiled in a passionate kiss while embracing one another.
After her 2019 marriage, the supermodel endured a wave of anti-gay hatred so intense from the South Sudanese community, she tried taking her life.
In a candid interview, the 22-year-old woman opened up the suicide attempt as well as her experience living as a refugee in Kenya and Australia, coming out as a lesbian, surviving the pandemic and prioritizing her mental health.
According to the British publication, Ade-Chuol was spotted by modeling scouts when she was 16 years old in Sydney after her family emigrated to Australia from Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. When she was 18, the statuesque beauty walked her first show in Paris.
Life seemed great for the supermodel, but Ade-Chuol’s 2019 decision to marry Alexus (Lexy), a designer nail artist in New York, brought her life to a screeching halt. Vogue magazine documented the couple’s elegant, yet straightforward wedding in July.
Soon afterward, Ade-Chuol was demonized in her native South Sudan for marrying Lexy. Same-sex marriage has been banned by the country’s constitution since 2011, according to ELLE UK.
She detailed how that hatred caused her to attempt suicide.
“That is really baffling to me, and I’m still processing it. We got married, and the whole world, literally the whole of my community, were wishing that I passed,” the young beauty explained.
“A few months later, I attempt [suicide]. It was really absurd because subconsciously, I felt I was maybe drained by the fact we’d got married. It’s still a discussion now, like, ‘How dare she marry a woman?’ You can’t control what people say, and there were tabloids and newspapers back in Sudan,” she continued. “It was saddening because it was the happiest day of my life, and they couldn’t let me enjoy it.”
In June, the brave supermodel disclosed her suicide attempt on Instagram with a heart-wrenching, emotional post.
“04.27.2020. I almost lost my life. Three days in the ICU and six days in the hospital. I was unintentionally neglecting my own spirit,” the caption read.
She also came out publicly via social media and garnered support from Sudanese girls like herself. But the self-advocating model is well-aware that she is responsible for her mental health.
"‘It was beautiful to see how people react with having someone validate who they are.’ I ask whether she feels a responsibility to speak out for gay rights,” Ade-Chuol told the magazine. “At first I did, but then I realized that I’m in my twenties. I wish I could say, ‘Let me hold the torch for the LGBTQIA+ Sudanese community,’ but it’s a lot for one person to handle. I’m human at the end of the day. I’m very human. I’m learning myself.”
The vicenarian who has been in New York with her wife since the onset of the pandemic is now moving to London with Lexy and their two dogs, East and Chicago. Ade-Chuol still goes to therapy twice a week.