Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue features transgender cover model for first time

The annual swimsuit edition's theme this year is "Opening Eyes, Speaking Truths and Changing Minds" and features three women of color on covers.

Updated: July 19, 2021 - 6:44pm

The annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue was published Monday and for the first time features a transgender person on the cover.

The magazine said the photo of 27-year-old Leyna Bloom is part of "three history-making covers" this year.

Bloom is an actor, ballroom dancer and now the first transgender model to be appear in the magazine, the publication says.

The theme of this year's edition is "Opening Eyes, Speaking Truths and Changing Minds." 

Sports Illustrated swimsuit editor MJ Day said Bloom's "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."

Although the model selection was announced earlier this year, Monday marks the official release day of the cover photos, which also features tennis star Naomi Osaka and rapper Megan Thee Stallion.

"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," Bloom tweeted.

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