A well-deserved representation indeed! Model and actress Leyna Bloom became the first transgender woman of colour and second transgender model ever featured in Sports Illustrated's perenially bestselling 'Swimsuit Issue'.
She was announced as one of the cover stars in July 2021 alongside rapper Megan Thee Stallion, who made history as the first female rapper and tennis star Naomi Osaka, the first Haitian and Japanese woman athlete. The 30-year-old star of Black and Filipina heritage believes that she was born to be on the cover and that this moment will change the world for the better.
Bloom has been a part of a diverse ballroom community filled with many artists immersed in creativity. This community had even helped her when she first moved to New York City as a homeless teenager. Today she works to ensure that her community isn't erased.
When asked about representing the trans community, Leyna said, "I just want to bring a face to this community. I wanted to represent my community and not just sensationalize it or fetishize it and that's rooted in every single thing I do. How can I get out there and be the representation I want to see in the world?"