History! Valentina Sampaio First Transgender Model To Appear In Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue


New York: Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio became the  first openly transgender model to be featured in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit issue.

The 23-year-old was selected as a 2020 model for the July 21 issue.


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I am excited and honored to be part of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The team at SI has created yet another groundbreaking issue by bringing together a diverse set of multitalented, beautiful women in a creative and dignified way. I was born trans in a remote, humble fishing village in northern Brazil. Brazil is a beautiful country, but it also hosts the highest number of violent crimes and murders against the trans community in the world—three times that of the U.S. Being trans usually means facing closed doors to peoples’ hearts and minds. We face snickers, insults, fearful reactions and physical violations just for existing. Our options for growing up in a loving and accepting family, having a fruitful experience at school or finding dignified work are unimaginably limited and challenging. 💜🧡💛❤️💚

A post shared by Valentina Sampaio (@valentts) on

Lensed by Josie Clough on Scrub Island, the editorial spread is one of many in an issue that celebrates diversity. Hyunjoo Hwang, Marquita Pring, Anita Marshall, Lorena Duran, Kim Riekenberg, Brooks Nader, Jospehine Skriver were also named 2020 rookies and appear in the magazine.

Last year, Sampaio became the first transgender model to be hired by Victoria’s Secret. In 2017, she made history as the first transgender model to grace the cover of a Vogue magazine.

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