Friday, June 21, 2024
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Leyna Bloom, first trans woman of Color in ‘Sports Illustrated’ swimsuit issue

Women of Color have been doing some big things this Women’s History Month! For Trans Visibility Day we celebrate model, actress, dancer and activist Leyna Bloom.

It was recently announced that trans model Leyna Bloom has become the first Trans Woman of Color to be featured in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Bloom, who is Black and Filipino, follows in the footsteps of Valentina Sampaio, who became the first Trans woman to be featured in Sports Illustrated last year. 

The Chicago native took to Instagram this week to express her joy, posting a photo of herself from the shoot and writing: “This is what it looks like to be in full bloom. My spirit has reached new levels. 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.”

No stranger to the limelight, Bloom has been making waves in the industry for years. In 2017, she became one of the first openly Trans models to walk New York Fashion Week, and in 2019 became the only openly Trans model to walk Paris Fashion Week. 

She was also the first Trans Woman of Color to be featured in Vogue India, and recently appeared in a Levi’s campaign alongside Naomi Osaka, Jaden and Willow Smith and several other notable artists and activists. Bloom has also appeared in the Moschino for H&M campaign, and also appeared in Christian Dior’s Stand Up for Women campaign.

In 2019, she made her acting debut in Port Authority at the Cannes Film Festival, becoming the first Trans Woman of Color to be featured as a lead actor at the festival. The film, a love story set in the ballroom scene where Leyna made a name for herself walking the Face category, was very well received. Alongside her modeling and acting ventures, she has also been a highly recognized activist and advocate for years. 

 “Leyna is legendary in the world of activism, strikingly gorgeous and has an undeniable sense of self that shines through the minute she walks on set,” said MJ Day, editor-in-chief of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. 

“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.”

Thanking the Sports Illustrated team, Leyna also states: “Before my feet even touched the sand, you all wanted to celebrate the temple of my body and the deepest part of my spiritual universe. Your kindness has given me so much hope in the humanity of the entertainment industry. I thank you for that.”

“The idea that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has chosen me to be a part of this huge moment tells me that I deserve to be cherished and what I represent as a woman should never be taken for granted, regardless of my unique circumstances,” Bloom added in a post on the magazine’s Instagram. “I feel so lucky to be a part of something that is rooted in change and acceptance. 

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Queer Forty Staff

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