Model Leyna Bloom makes history as Sports illustrated's first ever trans cover star
An inspiration to Trans youth everywhere
Leyna Bloom is constantly trailblazing her way across popular culture. She was the first trans woman of colour to appear in Vogue India, her starring role in Port Authority was well received at the Cannes Film Festival, and her work in American Ballroom culture continues to be iconic.
Now, the actor and activist is the first-ever trans covergirl for Sports Illustrated.
"This 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," she wrote 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!
"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."
"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.
"I truly believe everything we do and everyone we meet are put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents. We're all teachers and if you are willing to pay attention to the lessons, trust your positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks, the possibilities are infinite!
With ballroom culture being thrust into the mainstream thanks to shows like POSE, and Legendary on HBO Max, iconic performers and activists are finally getting the spotlight they deserve. Not only does Leyna continue to be an inspiration for queer people, but she is now spreading her message to a mainstream audience.