Leyna Bloom is 1st transgender model on cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue

Posted at 7:43 AM, Jul 20, 2021

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Leyna Bloom has become the first transgender model to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

The 27-year-old woman is one of three women of color who are serving as cover models for the issue this year, alongside rapper Megan Thee Stallion and tennis star Naomi Osaka.

Bloom celebrated the achievement with a tweet on Monday.

“This moment heals a lot of pain in the world. We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder,” Bloom wrote with an image of her cover.

Sports Illustrated says Bloom is also the first transgender person of color to appear on its pages.

The magazine said Bloom wanted to use the platform to speak about acceptance, love, and change since she’s passionate about inspiring others to love themselves and to be who they want to be.

This isn’t the first time Bloom has broken barriers, though. The magazine says the model was the first transgender woman of color to appear in Vogue India and with her part in the film “Port Authority,” she was the first transgender woman of color to be featured in a leading role at the Cannes Film Festival.

"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 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day. "Her 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."