Leyna Bloom Reflects on 2021 SI Swimsuit Issue Cover: ‘This Moment Still Gives Me Chills’

The model returns to the annual magazine for her third consecutive year.
Leyna Bloom

Leyna Bloom.

Leyna Bloom made history two years ago as the first-ever transgender woman to appear on the cover of the SI Swimsuit Issue. She was photographed by Yu Tsai in Tampa, Fla., that year and has returned to the fold each year since.

The 30-year-old model reflected on her monumental cover girl moment in a sweet Instagram post on Thursday. She shared a carousel of photos, including an image of herself holding the 2021 SI Swimsuit Issue while grinning from ear to ear and snaps posing on the red carpet with editor in chief MJ Day and one-time SI Swimsuit model Megan Thee Stallion.

“When you do the work, you earn your spot,” Bloom wrote in her caption.

She went on to add that, “[A lot of] people doubted me and still do. But If you have a strong message and that message outshines all hate. Your moment is so heavenly on time. This moment still gives me chills. I was made for this, thank you again to my SI family for still believing in me. Love you all, see you all very soon.”

After landing the cover her rookie year with the magazine, Bloom returned to the annual publication last year after traveling to Belize, where she again posed for Yu Tsai. For this year’s 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue, she was photographed in Dominica. Take a sneak peek behind the scenes here.

Get ready for the hottest event of the year! The 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue is just around the corner, and you won’t want to miss the Swimsuit Issue Launch Party. Secure your tickets now and join us for an unforgettable weekend of glamour, beauty and fun.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.