Leyna Bloom on Being Enough As You Are and Celebrating Women of Different Backgrounds

The three-time SI Swimsuit model made history as the magazine’s first transgender cover star in 2021.
Leyna Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt in Dominica. Swimsuit by OCEANUS. Bracelet by Karine Sultan.

Leyna Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt in Dominica. Swimsuit by OCEANUS. Bracelet by Karine Sultan.


Three-time SI Swimsuit model Leyna Bloom is a force of nature. The actress, activist and dancer made her debut with the magazine in 2021—the same year she landed her historic cover as the first transgender woman featured on the front of the issue.

Additionally, 2019 was a change-making year for the Chicago native, who is of Filipino and African-American descent. She was the only trans model to walk the runway at Paris Fashion Week and she starred in Port Authority, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, making it the first entry in the festival’s 72-year history to feature a trans woman of color in a leading role

When she returned to the magazine for her sophomore feature in ’22 in Belize, she felt a certain pressure to live up to the hype and historic moment that was her debut. This year, however, she showed up as herself—confident in the fact that she is enough and is here for a reason. Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt for her 2023 SI Swimsuit feature in Dominica.

“I felt so connected to Amanda. She is literally God-sent—the most amazing energy, we just vibed right away,” Bloom tells SI Swimsuit during launch week events in Florida of working with Pratt. “It wasn’t a [typical] shoot. It felt like a bunch of girls taking beautiful photos together.”

Leyna Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt in Dominica. Top by Ema Savahl Couture.

Leyna Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt in Dominica. Top by Ema Savahl Couture.

In fact, she says this year’s photo shoot ended up being her favorite one so far, and she enjoys continuing to work with a brand that shares similar values.

View Leyna Bloom’s full 2023 SI Swimsuit gallery here.

“Right now, we’re in a time where entertainment, fashion, sports, media—all forms of social activities are so like intersectional. And it’s important that brands that have the power to make change, do,” Bloom says. “I think it’s just imperative that we celebrate all walks of life. I just don’t want it to be a trend. I wanted to do something that is embedded in the bloodline of the brand and what they’re trying to do.”

Bloom uses her platform to create waves for people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Leyna Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt in Dominica. Swimsuit by SAME.

Leyna Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt in Dominica. Swimsuit by SAME.

“Anytime I’m in a room, I’m taking up space,” she says, and encourages others to do the same.

She adds that 2023 is a “healing” year for her, full of travel—from Hawai’i to New York to Florida to the Philippines, all in one month.

“Knowing the fact that time is so precious, to be on this Earth and to live in these spaces—I’m in a very lucky place. Tomorrow’s not promised,” Bloom continues about her approach to every adventure, both personal and professional. “If I’m going to do anything and especially in the place where people are looking at me and they’re figuring themselves out, I want to use that space to like bring them in and teach them about my experience so they can learn about theirs. Take time with yourself. Love yourself and appreciate yourself. This life is so precious. A tsunami can wipe it away in a heartbeat. Mother Earth do not play.”

Leyna Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt in Dominica. Swimsuit by Now_Then Label. Necklace by Alexis Bittar.

Leyna Bloom was photographed by Amanda Pratt in Dominica. Swimsuit by Now_Then Label. Necklace by Alexis Bittar.

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Published
Ananya Panchal

ANANYA PANCHAL

Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.