Model and actress Leyna Bloom just made history as the first transgender cover star for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Joining rapper Megan Thee Stallion and tennis star Naomi Osaka, the 27-year-old model was one of the three Black women to grace the cover of the magazine.
On her Instagram, Bloom shared a heartfelt message to celebrate the release of the magazine cover. "This moment heals a lot of pain in the world," she wrote. "We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder."
The breathtaking photo was captured by celebrity photographer Yu Tsai, whom Bloom thanked for his work to photograph "a young princess on earth and immortalized her."
Bloom, who guest starred in an episode of FX's Pose, continued to open up in her Instagram caption about her dreams being achieved and being a "messenger" to other women with similar goals.
"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 said. "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."
In honor of being inspired by ballroom queens of the past, present and future, Bloom dedicated her historical moment to transgender women and girls to being seen and recognized for their beauty and value.
Bloom chatted with Tyra Banks in a nearly 15-minute interview to commemorate the legacy of Banks' notoriety of being the first Black women to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Swim. She concluded her post by thanking Sports Illustrated editor-in-chief MJ Day for the chance to be featured on the magazine.
"To these two phenomenal women who opened the door for me and so many others, thank you for your support, love, and education as I navigate this business. With your blessings, I know I can do anything I set my mind to," Bloom wrote.