Trans stars Kim Petras and Leyna Bloom featured in Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition

Amid the increase in anti-trans rhetoric, Sports Illustrated has decided to take a proud stance in their support of LGBTQ+ identities.

Kim Petras poses on the cover of Sports Illustrated
Image: Via Twitter - KatChildofGod1

Sports Illustrated magazine is making headlines for including two trans icons among the 28 swimsuit models featured in their annual swimsuit issue: pop star Kim Petras and model Leyna Bloom. This year, the magazine offers four separate cover stars, one of which is Grammy-winner Kim Petras.

With the recent increase in hateful messaging against the trans community, Sports Illustrated is taking a proud stance in their support of trans identities by featuring Kim Petras on the cover. This is the third time a trans woman has been featured in the swimsuit edition of the magazine, with models Valentina Sampoia and Leyna Bloom being on the cover in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Kim Petras made history by becoming the first openly trans woman to win a Grammy earlier in February. The German singer-songwriter won alongside Sam Smith in the ‘best pop duo/group performance’ category for their hit single ‘Unholy‘.  Last year, Petras became the first openly trans artist to reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for the same song.

Speaking about her Sports Illustrated cover, Petras said, “It’s definitely a scary time to be transgender in America, but there’s also so much more representation than there’s ever been, and there’s so many things on the bright side.

“I do feel a pressure sometimes to represent the trans community with everything I do, because I feel very blessed that I am at this point where I have all these amazing opportunities that I’ve worked really hard for, and feel so happy when I hear from trans people in general that they’re inspired by me.”


Earlier this week, Petras announced that her highly-anticipated debut album called Feed The Beast will be out on June 23rd.

She told People magazine, “It has been in the works for three years…I’ve really sacrificed my entire life to it and have been writing these songs that mean the world to me. I feel like it’s something that you’ve never heard from me before!”


Leyna Bloom is an American actress and model who first appeared on the Sports Illustrated cover in 2021 with the tagline: “Opening eyes, speaking truths, changing minds.”

Regarding this year’s cover, Bloom said, “I’m so honoured to come back a 3rd time to represent my community and powerful feminine energy like mines worldwide. I feel so lucky to be seen and so happy to be amongst these beautiful Amazonian, queens in all different forms of beauties, bodies and brands.”

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