Actress and model Leyna Bloom has made history by becoming the first ever black and asian trans woman to land the cover of Sports Illustrated, the Swimsuit issue.

Sharing the powerful cover shot on Instagram, Leyna wrote:

“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.”

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Who is Leyna Bloom?

Leyna Bloom is known for being a model, actress, and activist, though her creative pathway actually began as a child when she was a dancer.

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Hoping to turn her passion for dance into a career, Leyna won a prestigious scholarship to the Chicago Academy for the Arts. However, after the school refused to allow her to dance as a woman, Leyna headed to New York instead where she began work as a model.

In 2019, Leyna became the first trans woman of colour to star in a film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival for her appearance in Port Authority, in which she starred alongside Fionn Whitehead.

Leyna can also be seen in the final season of the Netflix show Pose, and the upcoming feature film “Asking For It.”

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Leyna Bloom ethnicity explored

Leyna Bloom was born in Chicago to a Filipina mother and an African American father.

While quarantining in the Spring of 2020, Leyna spent time researching her heritage and tracing her lineage. Leyna told Harper’s Bazaar:

“Figuring out my roots as both Filipino and African gave me a sense of confidence and self-love, especially knowing that a lot of people worked hard for me to be here.”

She continued on: “I feel very lucky because it’s a beautiful gift to know your heritage and it gave me the extra push I needed to be my destined self.”

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