Model, actor, pioneer
Jun 16, 2022
Last summer, Bed-Stuy model and actress Leyna Bloom made a historic splash as the first transgender woman of color to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Before that, in 2019, she was the first transgender actor of color to premiere a movie at the Cannes Film Festival. “I need to do things, I need to tell stories, I need to dance in ways that can express harmony and emotions differently,” Bloom said at the time. “So people can see things differently and maybe they can learn about people like me.”
Bloom moved to New York when she was 17 and eventually found her way to Bed-Stuy, a place with “a lot of the culture of Black and brown bodies,” Bloom said. In those early days in the city, she joined a ballroom community that helped her through homelessness. She was discovered in a store while casually flipping through a lookbook of Victoria’s Secret models. The person who discovered her? The wife of the photographer who took the pictures Bloom was looking at. Since that fateful discovery, she has starred in the Martin Scorsese-produced film “Port Authority” and had a recurring role in the final season of “Pose.”
What comes next for Bloom is clear: “My mission before I die is to be on the cover of every magazine I’ve ever wanted to be on. I’m young, I’m in my prime, I can do that,” she said to Interview Magazine.