Actress and model Leyna Bloom, is forging ahead with her illustrious career, appearing as the first transgender woman on the cover of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Bloom said that appearing on the cover was a dream she had held since 1997, when Tyra Banks broke new ground as the first black woman to feature solo on the cover of the Swimsuit issue.
The issue that hits the shelves later this week, also breaks new ground for Sports Illustrated, with women of colour gracing all three covers. Joining Bloom is Megan The Stallion and athlete Naomi Osaka.
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) July 19, 2021
Bloom, shared an image of the cover on social media, and said: ” I dedicate this cover to all ballroom femme queens past, present and future. This historical moment is important to #girlslikeus because it allows us to live and be seen.”
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. @SI_Swimsuit #SI2021 pic.twitter.com/ArvYsG1IS2
— Leyna Bloom (@leynabloom) July 19, 2021
Bloom’s career began in the New York City Ballroom community and is house mother of Miyake-Mugler. She is no stranger to smashing the glass ceiling of transgender representation. In 2017, Bloom became the first openly transgender woman of colour to appear in Vogue India.
In 2019 at Cannes Film Festival, Bloom became the first transgender woman of colour to appear in a leading role in a feature film in the festival’s history. She is also the only transgender woman of colour to walk Paris Fashion Week, doing so in 2019.
The fact that SI – a magazine with a primarily cis hetero male following – is having Lenya Bloom on the cover is kind of a big deal!! 🌈
— øż (@ozisfake) July 20, 2021
Co-founder of the non-binary underwear company Urbody, Mere Abrams, told The Guardian that Bloom’s cover would help open doors for members of the trans community.
In the interview accompanying the cover, Bloom told the magazine about her dreams for the future: “I don’t want to limit myself. I mean, I want to direct, I’m going to write, I want to produce, I want to maybe one day open a modeling agency for people that just are not the traditional beauties. I might also want to be part of some type of educational system, whether it’s my own school, a starting school, or a college preparatory, or a school based on art and creativity, and identity. We can also build a new curriculum for the reflection of what the world is like right now. That’s important to me: giving back.”
Last year, model Valentina Sampaio had made history by becoming the first trans model to be featured in the pages of the magazine.