First Black and Asian trans Sports Illustrated model makes history

Clara Hill@clara_ish
Friday 19 March 2021 10:36
Celebrities

Leyna Bloom is the first Black and Asian transgender woman to appear in Sports Illustrated

(Getty Images)

An actress, dancer and activist has made history as the first transgender woman of colour to front the Swimsuit Sports Illustrated cover.

Years prior, Leyna Bloom lost a university scholarship due to transitioning, facing other obstacles because of it. However, in a moment of vindication, she has snagged the cover of one of the world’s most iconic magazine issues.

“I never imagined that I will be born in the time when something like this will happen for someone with my skin tone, and with someone with my background,” Bloom told ABC News.

“This is a magazine that says we are allowed to be beautiful in all our shapes and sizes, and that should be loved because we’re not often seen in that way.”

Her cover comes a year after Valentia Sampaio from Brazil became the first transgender woman to be in the legendary magazine.

MJ Day, the editor in chief said: “Leyna, she just walked on to that set and she owned it.”

“And that’s what I want for every woman to feel in their life, like they have a seat at the table. They have a right to be there.”

Bloom spoke about the difficulties she has experienced, such as homelessness.

“It wasn’t homeless to be homeless... I knew that this was what I needed to do to get to where I needed to be,” Bloom said. “I still had the dream. The dream was feeding me when I was starving in my body.”

Visibility is something Bloom believes is vital to progression and that her father was a vital source of support.

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