Valentina Sampaio has become the first transgender Sports Illustrated Swim Rookie.
“I was filled with so many emotions of happiness when I heard the news,” Sampaio told People. “The feeling was surreal.”
“Being in SI Swim has always been on my bucket list of things to achieve in my career,” Sampaio added. “It’s a dream come true on so many levels. SI has been a deeply meaningful achievement. To come from a space of fear and marginalization, to now being included in one of the most iconic magazines that truly embraces and celebrates diversity — it is life changing.”
Sampaio said being chosen as a rookie for Sports Illustrated marks a “major milestone” for the LGBTQ+ community.
“As a community, each personal success is a step forward for all. I am very grateful to God and all whom have helped me along my journey so far,” Sampaio told the outlet. “I honor the challenges of those who have paved the way for me directly or indirectly. They have made where I am today possible. I am committed to keep growing and push boundaries, so that I can in some way, pave the path for others. We are here, we always have been here and we always will be.”
Author: Lauryn Overhultz
Source: Daily Caller: Sports Illustrated Debuts First Transgender Swimsuit Model Valentina Sampaio