Valentina Sampaio Becomes 1st Transgender “Sports Illustrated” Swimsuit Model (PICS)

Yes, you read that correctly.

Valentina Sampaio has made Sports Illustrated Swimsuit history by becoming the first transgender model to appear in the iconic special edition magazine.

The announcement came on Friday when the 23-year-old Brazilian native confirmed she was named a 2020 Rookie for the publication’s upcoming issue, which comes out July 21st.

“I am excited and honored to be part of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue,” she wrote.

“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.,” she continued.

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I feel strong, and I feel inspired to fight, not just for me but for everyone who face discrimination

A post shared by Valentina Sampaio (@valentts) on

Sampaio concluded: “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.”

Back in 2017, Sampaio covered Vogue Paris, Vogue Brasil, Vogue German, and worked with major fashion brands Marc Jacobs, Dior, and H&M.