Leyna Bloom made history this week when she became Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue first-ever transgender cover star.
“his 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,” Bloom wrote in the caption of the cover on Instagram.
“I’m am so happy, honored, and humbled to share that I’m the 1st trans woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated!”
The historic move comes a year after trans model Valentina Sampaio became the first trans model to appear in the pages of the magazine last July.
“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 continued. “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.”
Bloom was not the only first in this year’s swimsuit issue. Megan Thee Stallion also made history by becoming the first rapper to grace the cover.
Tennis star Naomi Osaka was also one of the coveted cover girls.
Bloom acknowledged the moment was monumental for her community.
“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. Many girls like us don’t have the chance to live our dreams, or to live long at all. I hope my cover empowers those, who are struggling to be seen, feel valued. Let me be a messenger guiding us to a future of respect and appreciation for all women in all forms and from all walks of life,” she added.