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09/21/2012 02:12 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong, 'Project Runway' Finalist, Talks Transgender Transition

The popular "Project Runway" contestant who appeared on the show as a gay man and is now living as a woman is speaking in depth about her ongoing transition.

Nong Ariyaphon Southiphong, who starred in the eighth season of the hit Lifetime series as Andy South, tells Logo, "What people don't know is that I actually started my transition before 'Project Runway,' [and] I had stopped right before I went to New York...it just would've complicated a lot of things."

She also noted: "What I realized in the past two years, after being on television, was that I was still missing something, and that was really living in the body I wanted."

In June, the Hawaii native -- who made it into the top 3 while on "Project Runway" -- changed her name on Facebook, and appeared in a series of new profile photos in long hair and in full make-up.

Thank you to my fans and friends who have supported me all the way. To my family for seeing me for me and for all the love I am surrounded with," she wrote on June 3, according to RadarOnline. "I am blessed to be so accepted and welcomed just the way I am. May that love flow through me and onto many others. Live in love for the world needs it."

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