The 23-year-old Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio has been selected as a model to be featured in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue which will be released on 21 July.

Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender woman to be featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. In a personal letter on the magazine’s website, the Brazilian model, said: “I am excited and honoured to be part of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.”

Continuing to break barriers in the modelling industry and to enhance transgender visibility across all spectrums, she praised the team at SI has for creating a groundbreaking issue and for bringing a diverse set of multitalented women together in a more respectful way.

This is just another feather in her cap. In 2019 she became Victoria Secret’s first openly transgender model and was hired for catalogue work for the company’s athletic line- VS Pink. In 2017, she became the first transgender model to be on the cover of a Vogue Paris edition.

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.” she said.

Being her humble self, she also recognises that she is the ‘fortunate one’ and wishes to represent and raise her voice for the transgender community.

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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

In her letter on the SI Swimsuit’s website, she thanked the magazine saying, “Thank you SI for seeing and respecting me as I truly am. For understanding that more than anything, I am human. Thank you for supporting me in continuing to spread a message of love, compassion and unity for ALL.

 

Also Read: These queer bloggers are winning the internet one post at a time

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Creative thinker, writer and an orator, Chayanika Roy is a passionate journalist in making who loves to explore new opportunities, meeting new people and undertaking dynamic challenges. As an enthusiastic traveler, she enjoys capturing the beauty and culture of the places she visits. She has endeavoured in various fields including- content writing, photography, screenplay writing and social media. Writing for a national publication and working with organizations has given Chayanika a better sense of the creative field where she is stepping in.