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Leyna Bloom Makes History in 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue

Leyna Bloom at Cannes Film Festival

And just like that, more history for Leyna Bloom.

Model and actress Leyna Bloom is no stranger to making history. Since breaking out on the scene in fashion about a decade ago — she shot with Antoine Verglas and then went on to appear in Candy's fifth-anniversary cover story — she's been putting notch after notch in her belt. The latest: she is the first Black trans woman and first Asian trans woman to appear in the lauded Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

"I never imagined that I would be born in a time where something like this would happen for someone with my skin tone and someone with my background," Bloom told Good Morning America in an interview about the feature.  "This is a magazine that says we are allowed to be beautiful in all of our shapes and sizes."

Bloom comes as Sports Illustrated has steadily increased its inclusion. Last year, Valentina Sampaio became the first trans model to appear in the Swimsuit issue. In 2019 Megan Rapinoe became the first known lesbian. 

"My spirit has reached new levels," Bloom wrote to Instagram about the inclusion. "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. "

Among other accomplishments, Bloom has been shot for Vogue India, appeared in the Moschino for H&M campaign, and also appeared in Christian Dior's Stand Up for Women campaign. She's walked in shows for both New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week.

In 2019, Bloom became the first trans woman of color to lead a film premiering at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. That project, titled Port Authority, was a love story set in part against the backdrop of the ballroom scene where Bloom has also made a name walking the category of face. The film was her acting debut. 

RELATED | Meet Leyna Bloom, First Trans Woman of Color to Lead a Cannes Film Premiere

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