The 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue will feature its first transgender cover model.
Leyna Bloom, 27, is among three women to grace the cover of the latest issue, alongside rapper Megan Thee Stallion and tennis star Naomi Osaka, and she is the first-ever transgender person of color to be included in the magazine.
“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 tweeted Monday with a picture of the cover that read, “Opening Eyes. Speaking Truths. Changing Minds.”
Sports Illustrated also announced the cover models in a post on its website calling the women “legends” and its decision to feature them “history-making.”
“If there’s one thing that our cover models have in common, it’s that they don’t have one thing in common. They look different, have different upbringings, have different passions and inspirations. But each is a reminder that beauty comes in many forms,” said Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editor-in-Chief MJ Day in the post before providing a description of the “groundbreaking women.”
Megan Thee Stallion, 26, is a Texas native, as well as a Grammy Award-winning rapper and songwriter, known for “Savage” and “Hot Girl Summer.”
“She captured the world’s attention with her music and style, but what caught our attention was her unfiltered approach to the way she makes you think,” Day said.
Osaka, 23, is a four-time Grand Slam winner and tennis prodigy who first made headlines when she defeated former U.S. Open champion Samantha Stosur in her first WTA Tour, at 16.
“What drew us to Naomi was her passion, strength, and power geared toward consistently breaking barriers when it comes to equality, social justice, and mental health,” Day said.
As for Bloom, her rise to fame originally began in ballroom dance but has resulted in numerous “firsts.”
In addition to being Sports Illustrated’s first transgender cover model and the first transgender person of color in the magazine’s history, she was one of the few openly transgender models to participate in the New York Fashion Week in 2017.
She also appeared in Vogue India, being the first transgender woman of color to do so. Bloom also made her acting debut in the film Port Authority, the first transgender woman of color to play a leading role in Cannes Film Festival history.
“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,” Day said. “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.”
Day added: “Among the many things we’ve learned over the past 18 months is how much we value being a part of a community and how much we miss that interaction when it’s taken away. This issue represents the culmination of our powerful community coming together during these trying times to make history.”
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Original Author: Lawrence Richard