Congratulations to both Valentina Sampaio and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for breaking new boundaries! The magazine has included the 23-year-old as one of their rookie models this year — the first time the issue has featured a transgender model.
Sampaio also made history last year when she became Victoria Secrets first openly trans model.
The announcement has come with a lot of support and pride from SI Swimsuit. Today the brand posted several messages about the rookie.
Sampaio was quoted in the caption saying:
“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.” -Valentina Sampaio @valentts
Her message was followed by a warning from SI to prevent commenters from making unkind remarks:
Our Instagram channel is a platform for inspiration, inclusivity and support. SI Swimsuit will not tolerate any hateful or offensive comments. Those who violate these terms will be deleted, blocked & reported.
We love that they are making it clear no nastiness will be tolerated!
The same message was included when they posted a video of Valentina talking about her journey in her own words.
“I feel strong, and I feel inspired to fight, not just for me but for everyone that I represent.” -Valentina Sampaio
Valentina did an Instagram Live with @glaad today to discuss joining the SI Swimsuit family.
You can watch the interview with GLAAD below:
Can you believe Valentina is one of 7 kids?! Ironically, there are seven other rookies in Valentina’s class; Brooks Nader, Josephine Skriver, Lorena Duran, Kim Riekenberg, Marquita Pring, Anita Marshall, and Hyunjoo Hwang. Hit the flip to see them all.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hits newsstands on July 21.