Leyna Bloom is in the July issue of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition.
As the the only Black and Asian transgender woman to be featured, Bloom first made headlines as the first trans woman of color to star in a movie that premiered at Cannes Film Festival, 2019’s Port Authority.
“undeniable sense of self that shines through the minute she walks on set.”
(Leyna’s) story represents one grounded in resilience and we couldn’t be more thrilled to help her tell it. 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.
She represents every person’s right to love themselves and be who they want to be.”
Sports Illustrated has had a number of female firsts;
- Tyra Banks became the first Black woman to have a solo cover featured on SI’s Swimsuit Issue in 1997 (Banks returned and became the SI‘s oldest swimsuit cover star)
- Ashley Graham became one of the title’s first plus-size cover models in 2016, and in 2019
- Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender woman to ever be featured in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in 2020
Bloom, who is Black and Filipina, is the second transgender woman to be featured and she said that being in the Swimsuit Issue,
“is an incredible feeling and achievement… there’s still so much work to be done for more representation.”
In an interview with Good Morning America, Bloom said she
“never imagined” that she would be “born in a time when something like this would happen to someone with (her) skin tone.”
To celebrate, she posted a shot from SI on Instagram,
“This is what it looks like to be in full bloom.
Thank you @si_swimsuit for allowing me to showcase my heavenly form. My spirit has reached new levels. This moment is bigger than my wildest infinite dreams...”
“I’m promoting something that has been missing in the world: trans beauty in all shapes and all sizes.
I’m representing Filipina, I’m representing Black, I am representing people who have been immigrants. For them, I’m a vessel of change.”