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Sports Illustrated Has Their First Transgender Swimsuit Model

 

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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

Valentia Sampaio has broken through a new barrier.

She has become the first transgender swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated.

Sampaio told People, “I was filled with so many emotions of happiness when I heard the news. The feeling was surreal. Being in SI Swim has always been on my bucket list of things to achieve in my career. It’s a dream come true on so many levels.

She continued, “SI has been a deeply meaningful achievement. To come from a space of fear and marginalization, to now being included in one of the most iconic magazines that truly embraces and celebrates diversity — it is life-changing.”


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