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Leyna Bloom on being the first trans woman of color in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue
In July, Leyna Bloom will be the first transgender woman to appear in the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit issue, and the responsibility of being the first is a responsibility Bloom doesn’t take lightly. “I would sit and talk to a lot of people who were the first to do things. One of the people was Tyra Banks, ”Bloom told Yahoo Life. “The best advice she gave me was the best advice I live with every day. There will never be another premiere. Honestly, you just need to know that everything you do from today has to be for the bigger picture. The model and actress will also appear in the final season of Pose, and she is starring in her feature debut. The film, Port Authority, premiered in 2019 and made Bloom the first trans woman of color to direct a film at the Cannes Film Festival. Now available on Prime Video, the film tells the story of a young man who falls in love with a woman entrenched in the scene of the fashionable Harlem ballroom. Historically in Hollywood, many stories featuring transgender characters portray them in a negative or problematic light. Since 2002, GLADD has cataloged episodes of shows featuring trans stories and found that transgender characters were portrayed negatively about 51% of the time. At least 40% of the time, trans characters have played a “victim” role. Bloom said she wanted to be part of a movie that showed joy, love, and community. “Me in the world, being worshiped is something that’s very unfamiliar territory for a lot of people, even to admit or talk or really sit down and have a conversation with. It’s done in such a beautiful way that is. very human to all of us. It’s rooted in love and finding a connection with yourself and the outside worlds, ”says Bloom.