Leyna Bloom Makes History as First Transgender WOC Model in SI Swimsuit Issue

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This week Leyna Bloom became the first transgender women of color model to appear in the Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, CBS reports. Bloom is Black and Filipina.

Bloom has modeled in ad campaigns for major brands like Levi’s. She has also walked the Tommy Hilfiger runway alongside Zendaya, according to the New York Times.

“This is what it looks like to be in full bloom,” Bloom wrote on Instagram, along with a photo of herself from the issue. “My spirit has reached new levels. This moment is bigger than my wildest infinite dreams. In this moment, I am a representation of all the communities I grew from, and all the communities I’m planting seeds in.”

Last year, Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender model to grace the pages of the Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Bloom hopes to use her appearance in the issue to continuing pushing for transgender rights.

She hopes her issue will teach others to love themselves.

“My autonomy and my anatomy are beautiful,” Bloom told the New York Times. “I want people to see that, and to see that you can be respected, appreciated and loved regardless of your body shape, sexuality and the color of your skin.”

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