12 Breathtaking Photos of Leyna Bloom in Florida
The model made history with her rookie cover in 2021.
Actress and model Leyna Bloom made history with her SI Swimsuit debut in 2021. When she landed the cover as a rookie that year, it marked the brand’s first-ever transgender cover model and the first trans person of color to appear in the SI Swimsuit Issue.
An activist and advocate for underrepresented communities, Bloom was honored with the Gamechanger Award at the 2022 GLSEN Respect Awards last May for her LGBTQ advocacy work and activism for Black trans rights.
For her photo shoot in ’21, Bloom traveled to Tampa, where photographer Yu Tsai snapped her photos, including the now iconic cover image of the model in a white one-piece swimsuit. The following year, Bloom jetted off to Belize, again with Tsai.
“This is a huge opportunity, really on another level,” she said of her SI Swimsuit cover photo shoot. “Because I know it’s not just for me. It’s for all my communities—the Black girls, the Asian girls, the LGBTQ+ community—this is my moment, and I’m so proud of myself for that. But it’s also our moment, and we’re going to take it and keep stepping into our power.”
Bloom also shared that while three-time SI Swimsuit Issue cover model Tyra Banks “lit the torch for women of color,” she intends to “keep that torch burning.”
“We have to keep representing each other. We have to remind ourselves that the people that paved the way for us aren’t all legends and historical figures,” Bloom said. “Some of those trailblazers, like Tyra, are still here! And we have to respect what they offered us!”
Bloom continues to be a trailblazer and use her platform for good. She walked the L’Oréal Paris Fashion Show in October of last year and visited the White House a month later to speak with Vice President Kamala Harris about voting and midterm elections.
Below are 12 of our favorite images from Bloom’s cover photo shoot in Florida with Tsai.