Chicago, IL Congratulates Leyna Bloom For Her Achievement

Tree Langdon

Sports Illustrated is featuring Leyna Bloom in their next swimsuit edition. with rainbow stripes by Angela Yuriko Smith

What would it be like to grow up in a single-parent family in Chicago, Illinois, struggling with who you truly are? 

It's a big city, that grew from a small trading post to one of the largest cities in the country.

It's a multicultural city that celebrates diversity, maybe that's why Leyna's life opened up to so many possibilities.

That’s how Leyna Bloom’s life began.

As the first Black and Filipina transgendered woman to be featured in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, Leyna has achieved something that was unheard of only a few years ago.

She’ll be appearing in the July edition and the early photos are amazing.

It’s a moment many will remember and one that people fighting for equality for LGBTQ+ can relish.

It’s not her first historic event. 

She was the first trans woman of color to start in the movie, “Port Authority“,” at the Cannes Film Festival in 2019.

“Port Authority”, a movie directed by Danielle Lessovitz, is a love story set in New York’s kiki ballroom scene.

A young man from the Midwest named Paul arrives at the central bus station.

There he discovers Wye, a 22-year-old girl who is voguing with a group of friends on the sidewalk near the station.

Voguing is a very stylized dance style originating in Harlem, New York.

Voguing comes from a fashion magazine with the same name. 

The movements performed in the dance are inspired by the poses performed by the models in the magazine.

The dancers draw inspiration from martial arts, pantomime, and martial arts as well as ballet performances.

In Port Authority, an intense love grows quickly between Paul and Wye and when he discovers Wye is trans, Paul isn’t sure how to react. 

He is uncomfortable and surprised but eventually, he’s forced to face his own identity and what it means to have a place of your own in society.

Port Authority is an important film for trans actors because they aren’t usually seen in the light of love and attraction.

We’ve mainly seen movies where they’re portrayed as prostitutes or murdered or placed in abusive situations. 

It’s much more representative, as it doesn’t just show trans women as victims.

In western society, trans women aren’t seen in public spaces, so they aren’t viewed as possible role models. 

They aren’t visible in traditional roles such as teachers or nurses so we aren’t aware of the unique gifts they have to offer.

Their voices have been silenced. Port Authority opens a window into their lives.

In 2017 Bloom walked the runway during New York Fashion Week as an openly transgendered model. 

Another first was her appearance in Vogue India.

Glamour named her one of the “six women who are shaping the future of fashion”.

This striking Chicago, IL native appeared as the only transgender model at Paris Fashion Week in 2019 for Tommy Hilfiger x Zendaya’s collection.

Leyna has always been at the forefront of activism for her community and that’s because of her strength of character and resilience.

Sports Illustrated welcomes her as the first trans woman of color in the magazine.

“We are honored to have her in this year’s issue and understand the effect it will have on so many others. She joins our team, not because of what she represents but because of her beauty, commitment, and desire to leave the world a better place.” Sports Illustrated.

She’s a confident person who moves with such grace that you can tell she’s a natural model.

Everywhere she appears, she is spreading a message of inclusivity and diversity.

When asked how she felt about her success, she said “When these big brands give women of color and trans people an opportunity like this, they begin to connect the missing links in society, and it just works.”

Leyna’s father was a heterosexual man and was in the military.

He was quite protective but also very supportive and raised her to believe in herself. 

When she was little, anytime there was an audition or a casting, he would always take her and when there was a performance, he was right there, with flowers.

Her father was African American and her Filipina roots are from her mother’s side, but her mother was unfortunately deported when she was quite young.

She’s trained in just about every style of dance that you can imagine, and by the time she was 14, she found herself with Misty Copeland on the American Ballet Theater stage. 

She received a full dance scholarship to the Chicago Academy for the Arts at a young age.

She left to pursue a different path when the Academy wouldn’t let her perform as a woman, which was where she felt she belonged.

It wasn’t until she moved to the North Side of Chicago and found a home in the diverse community there that she realized she had a choice.

When it came time for surgery, he paid her bills, and flew with her to Thailand, and stayed by her side.

She points out that we all go through transitions in our lives as we learn and grow. Her transition was a different journey than ours, but there are so many similarities. 

“We all are transgendered. We all have ideas that are feminine and masculine and that makes us very unique in ourselves.” Leyna Bloom, France 24 interview.

Leyna has had a fascinating life, also starring in a recent movie where she plays a character named Zuni.

One of ten Millenials living in New York City, the movie explores love and sexuality in the time of social media, redefining how the internet is changing how we view real-life relationships.

We are reduced to a terra-byte of hard drive and pixels on the internet.

Said to be a movie that defines a generation through the lens of tweets and likes, this fresh take is directed by Linda Yellen.

Born on April 25th, this Taurus is famous for her loving nature and determination.

Those born on this date tend to focus on achieving goals.

Earth is the element of Taurus, making it the only sign that has a fixed connection to the planet, making them very grounded and realistic.

This Taurus has firm goals but is less inclined to have her head in the clouds.

Venus is the ruling planet of Taurus, which brings Leyna a powerful dose of sociability, appreciation of beauty, and cooperation.

That suits her in the life she has chosen, especially supporting her in her activism.

Here’s an interview from Cannes, when she starred in Port Authority.

Leyna is a beautiful soul and I look forward to reading about her next success.

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A merchant of dreams. ♡ I love to connect humanity to technology. I write news, and fiction, exploring Worldview plots. Was a CGA/CPA in a past life. I have a lot of life experience. Parenting, Art, Finance, Investing, Auditing, Project Management, Writing, Story Grid Method, Science, Forensic Anthropology, Extensive overseas travel including Asia, Greece, Thailand.

Seattle, WA

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