“Sports Illustrated” Swimsuit Issue Features Its First Openly Trans Model

Valentina Sampaio is "honored" to be part of the "groundbreaking" issue.

Valentina Sampaio is making magazine history by being the first openly trans model in Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue.

Sampaio made the announcement on her Instagram, revealing she would be featured as a 2020 rookie in the upcoming issue.

“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,” she wrote.

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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

“Being trans usually means facing closed doors to peoples’ hearts and minds. We face snickers, insults, fearful reactions and physical violations just for existing,” she continued. “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.”

The Brazilian stunner previously graced the covers of French Vogue and Elle Brazil. As NewNowNext previously reported, Sampaio first made waves in 2106 when she officially came out as a transgender woman in a video for International Women’s Day. The video was released with L’Oreal Paris, for whom she is an ambassador.

“Beauty is something that transcends the body—it comes from the soul,” she said in the video. “It’s great when you accept yourself, when you know what you’re worth.”
 

Sampaio also made history when she was the first openly transgender model to be hired by Victoria’s Secret in 2019, which caused the company’s marketing executive Ed Razek to step down from his post.

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