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Leyna Bloom Is The First Transgender Woman Of Color To Model In Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue

We stan for this kind of inclusivity!

It’s not every day that dreams come true, but Leyna Bloom is a living testament that if you work towards it, anything is possible! Let us explain. 

Just in time for Women’s History Month, Bloom made serious herstory as the first transgender woman of color to be featured in Sports Illustrated’s highly-coveted Swimsuit Issue. See the photo here! 

“This is what it looks like to be in full bloom,” the Black and Filipina beauty wrote on Instagram, showing a snapshot from her magazine photoshoot

The statuesque model follows in the footsteps of Valentina Sampaio, a Brazilian-born model who earned the honor of being the first transgender woman to display her beach body on the pages of the legendary magazine. 

"This moment is bigger than my wildest infinite dreams. In this moment, I am a representation of all the communities I grew from, and all the communities I'm planting seeds in," she added.

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This isn’t the first time the Chicago native made headlines. Back in 2017, the activist was amongst the first openly transgender models to sashay down the New York Fashion Week runway. Later that year, she also appeared in Vogue India.

"When I first started modeling, what I heard the most was ‘you’re Black, you’re a woman, your trans, and you’re poor. You’re at the bottom of the food chain,” she stated in a trailer interview for SI. “Now people are telling me ‘you are a beautiful woman, you are a beautiful Black woman, and you’re a powerful trans woman.”

According to Sports Illustrated, in 2019, Bloom was the only openly transgender model to grace the runway at Paris Fashion Week.

“Her presence as the first trans woman of color to be in our issue is a result of her lifetime dedication to forging her own path that has led to acceptance, love and change,” stated MJ Day, editor-in-chief of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. “She represents every person's right to love themselves and be who they want to be.”

We’re extremely excited to see the push for inclusivity in the media industry. We can’t wait to see what’s next for the multifaceted star! 

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