First Look: Sports Illustrated's 1st Transgender Cover Star Makes History

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday July 20, 2021

Model Leyna Bloom covering Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.
Model Leyna Bloom covering Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.   (Source:Instagram / @leynabloom)

Model Leyna Bloom has made history on multiple fronts as one of the stars of Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue.

As reported by ABC News, Bloom is the first transgender model to grace the cover of the coveted issue and the first transgender woman of color to appear on the front page.

An actor with credits on "Pose," a model, dancer and activist, Bloom was featured with tennis star Naomi Osaka and rapper Megan Thee Stallion, who both also starred on their own covers.

"Bloom was photographed by Yu Tsai while wearing a white swimsuit designed by Gil Rodriguez and SOKO rings and earrings," reports ABC News.

Model and "America's Top Model" mogul Tyra Banks, who made history as the first Black woman to appear on the swimsuit issue in 1997, reacted to the news in an Instagram post with: "This is MAJOR."

"I am proud to know this beauty, @leynabloom, and so excited to have a front row seat to her making history as the FIRST TRANS WOMAN ON THE COVER," she wrote in a post.

Bloom shared the cover on Instagram and expressed how "happy, honored and humbled" she is to land the cover and make history in the process.

"This moment heals a lot of pain in the world," Bloom said in a 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."