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Leyna Bloom is first Trans Sports Illustrated cover model, first all Black line up

Trans model Leyna Bloom has become the first trans woman to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition! 

Back in March, model, actress and activist Leyna Bloom made history as the first Trans woman of color to be featured in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Now, she is making history again as the first Trans woman to actually grace the cover! 

Bloom is not only making history as the first Trans woman to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but she is also joined by Grammy-winning rapper Megan Thee Stallion and tennis star Naomi Osaka, who all are a part of August’s cover line up. This marks the first time that three Black women have been a part of the cover line up, and the first time a female rapper is featured on the front cover. It also makes Naomi Osaka the first Black female athlete, the first woman of Haitian descent and the first woman of Japanese descent to be featured on the cover. 

In an Instagram post, Bloom writes: “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.

“I am so happy, honored, and humbled to share that I’m the 1st trans woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated!”

She added: “I have dreamt a million beautiful dreams, but for girls like me, most dreams are just fanciful hopes in a world that often erases and omits our history and even existence.”

She goes on to say: “This moment is so powerful because it allows me to live forever even after my physical form is gone. Not a lot of people get to live in the future, so at this moment, I’m proudly choosing to live forever.

“I hope my cover empowers those, who are struggling to be seen, feel valued.”

Leyna Bloom follows in the footsteps of Valentina Sampaio, who was the first Trans woman to be featured in Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in July of 2020.

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Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.