Leyna Bloom makes history as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's first transgender cover model

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CBS News 20 July, 2021 - 10:39am 40 views

Who is on Sports Illustrated cover?

Tennis star Naomi Osaka, rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Leyna Bloom all have been chosen as cover models for this year's edition. According to SI Swimsuit, "The three were photographed separately in locations across the U.S. from Florida to California. Sports IllustratedTennis Star Naomi Osaka Lands 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover

"This moment heals a lot of pain in the world," Bloom said Monday in an Instagram post. "We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder."

"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. 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 also took to Twitter on Monday to celebrate being one of the three black women on the 2021 cover.     

There are 3 black women on 3 separate covers for Sports Illustrated and I’m one of them WOW!

In March, Bloom became the first transgender woman of color and just the second transgender model to ever be featured in the Swimsuit Issue. Bloom was then announced as one of the cover stars in July, alongside rapper Megan Thee Stallion and tennis star Naomi Osaka.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue editor-in-chief MJ Day called Bloom's cover a "culmination of our powerful community coming together," and said the magazine was thrilled to help share her story. 

"Leyna is legendary in the world of activism, strikingly gorgeous, and has an undeniable sense of self that shines through the minute she walks on set," Day said. "Her story represents one grounded in resilience, and we couldn't be more thrilled to help her tell it. Her presence as the first trans woman of color to be in our issue is a result of her lifetime dedication to forging her own path."

In addition to her modeling career, Bloom is also an actress. The Chicago native appeared in the final season of FX's "Pose" and also starred in "Asking For It," which premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. In 2019, she became the first transgender woman of color to have a leading role in movie featured at the Cannes Film Festival.

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Lindsey Vonn Reveals Favorite Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Memory

The Spun 20 July, 2021 - 12:00am

What's trending in the sports world today.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue to set to hit newsstands later this month.

Over the years, several notable sports figures – from Danica Patrick to Alex Morgan to Paige Spiranac – have posed for the iconic magazine issue.

Former United States Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn is among those to have posed for the issue. Vonn, 36, posed for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit three times, most recently in 2019.

Vonn revealed her favorite Sports Illustrated Swimsuit memory in an interview with SI.com back in 2019.

“I think the body paint shoot was the craziest shoot I’ve been on. From the 13 hours of painting to running around basically naked…it was a trip! By the end of the shoot I felt so confident I didn’t even realize I was only wearing paint!” she said.

Vonn shared on Instagram a video of herself doing pull-ups while in the body-paint swimsuit.

Vonn, who won the gold medal in the downhill competition at the Winter Olympics in 2010, officially retired from the sport in 2019.

The Summer Olympics are scheduled to begin in Tokyo on Friday, July 23.

The 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, meanwhile, is scheduled to hit newsstands on July 20.

Andrew Holleran is the managing editor at The Spun.

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Leyna Bloom Makes History on the Cover of "Sports Illustrated"

NewNowNext 20 July, 2021 - 12:00am

Cover girl, but the bass in your walk!

Last year, Valentina Sampaio made magazine history by being the first openly trans model in Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue. Now history is being made again, this time with model Leyna Bloom gracing the cover of this year’s swimsuit issue, becoming Sports Illustrated’s first trans cover star.

“This cover and this moment represent what it looks like in the future,” Blooms told Page Six. “Being a person of trans experience growing up in the world, there was no representation of that [in fashion], so I felt like I could never do this.”

Bloom hails from the South Side of Chicago and was part of the Philadelphia and New York ballroom scenes before modeling in Vogue India and in campaigns for H&M, Levi’s, and hitting the runway for Tommy Hilfiger. She even acted in the 2019 indie film, Port Authority, and was featured in Logo’s Made to Model: Trans Beauty in Fashion documentary.

“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 wrote in a heartfelt Instagram post when her cover was unveiled.

“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 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.”

The news of Bloom being included in this year’s swimsuit issue first broke back in March. She told the New York Times about getting the call to be in the magazine:

I hadn’t gone to a casting, so when my agent called with the news, I felt mentally shaken. The idea that they were giving me this chance — I couldn’t take it in. Two weeks later I was on set. When we did the shoot, I told them: no bikinis, no strings, no thongs, no nudity. I was going to wear a one piece, that’s what I feel most comfortable in.

Bloom is one of three cover stars for the 2021 swimsuit issue. The other two cover models are Megan Thee Stallion and Naomi Osaka.

“Leyna is legendary in the world of activism, strikingly gorgeous, and has an undeniable sense of self that shines through the minute she walks on set,” explained Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day. “Her story represents one grounded in resilience, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to help her tell it. Her presence as the first trans woman of color to be in our issue is a result of her lifetime dedication to forging her own path.”

The 2021 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is scheduled to hit newsstands on July 22.

Leyna Bloom Is Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's First Trans Cover

Out Magazine 19 July, 2021 - 09:02am

It is only the latest history-making moment for the model.

Model and actress Leyna Bloom has once again made history. She has become the first out trans model to ever appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated's lauded Swimsuit issue. The cover is one of three alongside stars Meg Thee Stallion and Naomi Osaka. Bloom was previously announced to be the first trans model of color to appear in the magazine. Meg also became the first rapper to cover the issue.

“This cover and this moment represent what it looks like in the future,” Bloom told Page Six, who announced the news. She also told the publication that she had been texting back and forth with Tyra Banks, who was the first Black model to get a solo cover of the publication.

This is only the latest headline-making gig for Bloom who recently appeared in season three of Pose as Pretentia Khan. The performer found early success within the ballroom scene walking the category of face. She then translated those skills into a modeling career walking for brands like Chromat and Tommy Hilfiger. She's also done a deal with Dior, appearing in a series of video for the luxury label. She's also appeared in publications like Vogue India and done advertisements for everyone from Levi's to H&M.

But she pushed further, becoming the first trans woman of color to lead a film premiering at Cannes Film Festival with Port Authority. The project became her acting debut. She's followed it up with a recurring role on Pose.

Her second film, Asking For It, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival this year.

"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 wrote in a caption about the cover. "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."

"I dedicate this cover to all ballroom femme queens past, present, and future," she said. The term femme queen in ballroom refers to trans women. Bloom has often pointed back to women like Tanay Pendavis, Onjenae Milan, Tracey Africa Norman, and Octavia St. Laurent as points of inspiration. "This historical moment is important for girls like us 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."

Bloom's moment with Sports Illustrated comes as the latest in a series of moves aimed at expanding the publication's idea of sexy. In 2020, Valentina Sampaio became the first trans model to appear in the Swimsuit issue. She returned this year. Bloom marked the second. This year Lewis Freese, a nonbinary model assigned male at birth, made history for their inclusion in the Swim Search.

Leyna Bloom

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