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Leyna Bloom makes history in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

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Written by Leah Dolan, CNN

Leyna Bloom is the first black and Asian transgender woman to appear in an illustrated sports swimsuit issue that arrives in July.

The American model and actress initially made headlines as the first trans woman of color to star in a film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, the “Port Authority” of 2019.

In a statement to CNN Style, Sports Illustrated praised Leyna Bloom’s “undeniable sense of self that shines the moment she walks on set.”
Leyna Bloom walks the Chromat runway Spring / Summer 2020 during New York Fashion Week

Leyna Bloom walks the Chromat runway Spring / Summer 2020 during New York Fashion Week Credit: Mike Coppola / Getty Images

“(Leyna)’ s story represents a story based on resistance and we couldn’t be more pleased to help her tell it, ”the statement continued. “Her presence as the first trans woman of color to appear in our issue is the result of her lifelong dedication to forging her own path that has led to acceptance, love and change. the right of every person to love and be who they want to be. ”

Sports Illustrated has marked several developments in recent history. In 1997, Tyra Banks became the first black woman to have a solo cover in the Swimsuit Issue issue. Ashley Graham became one of the title’s first major cover models in 2016, and in 2019, Banks returned and became the publication’s oldest cover star.

Bloom, who is black and Filipino, is just the second transgender woman to ever appear in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Last year, Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio became the first. Bloom told CNN Style that being on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue “is an incredible feeling and an achievement,” but added that “there’s still a lot of work to be done to get more representation.”
Leyna Bloom at the award ceremony during the 45th Deauville American Film Festival in 2019.

Leyna Bloom at the award ceremony during the 45th Deauville American Film Festival in 2019. Credit: Francois Durand / Getty Images

In an interview with Good Morning America, Bloom said she “never imagined” that she would be born “at a time when something like this would happen to someone with her skin tone.”

To celebrate, the model posted a picture of the shoot on his Instagram with the caption: “This is what seems to be in full bloom.”

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