Leyna Bloom Becomes First Black Transgender Model In Sports Illustrated

Model Leyna Bloom continues to make Black history and its not even February. This week, Bloom became the first Black or Asian transgender swimsuit model to appear in Sports Illustrated.

"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 said in a recent interview.

"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."

Bloom is no stranger to making history. Throughout her career, she has become the first transgender woman to break down several barriers at various outlets. In 2017, she became the first Black transgender woman to appear in Vogue India. Two years later, she became the first Black transgender woman to lead a film at the Cannes Film Festival. This time, she follows in the footsteps of Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio, who became the first transgender woman to appear in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition.

"Leyna, she walked on that set and she owned it," Sports Illustrated Editor-In-Chief MJ Day said.

"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."

Along her journey, Bloom has gained a number of notable supporters. Most notably, future Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee Dwyane Wade offered Bloom a few words of support for Bloom.

Bloom will also star alongside a number of models of color. Marquita Pring, Danielle Harrington and Tanaye White will appear in the upcoming magazine. The upcoming release is expected to hit newsstands in May 2021.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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