Valentina Sampaio

Valentina Sampaio Makes History As First Openly Transgendered ‘Sports Illustrated’ Swimsuit Model

#Roommates, history continues to be made within the LGTBQ+ community—and legendary magazine ‘Sports Illustrated’ is the latest to be at the forefront of it. It has just been announced that Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio is now the first openly transgendered model to grace the ‘Sports Illustrated’ swimsuit issue.

@Vogue reports, Brazilian-born model Valentina Sampaio just broke down barriers that had been in place for 56 years, as she now has the distinction of being the very first openly transgendered model to be inside the pages of the highly-coveted ‘Sports Illustrated’ swimsuit issue. However, Sampaio is no stranger to making history though because back in February 2017 she was also the first openly transgendered model to be on the cover of a ‘Vogue’ magazine, covering the French edition.

Speaking about her historical accomplishment, Valentina Sampaio said, “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  am excited and honored to be part [of this].”

‘Sports Illustrated’ Editor-In-Chief MJ Day, spoke very highly of Sampaio being included in the swimsuit issue:

“We are deeply moved that Valentina was willing to put her trust in us. We didn’t think twice about wanting to amplify her voice and message and give her a platform to advocate from on behalf of her personal aspirations and the trans community.”

‘Sports Illustrated’ has taken non-traditional approaches to its swimsuit issue in the last few years, to very successful results. Ashley Graham was the first plus-size model in 2016, Halima Aden was its first model to wear a hijab in 2019 and Tyra Banks also returned at the age of 46 to slay on the cover in 2019.


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