Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio reaches a major milestone in her career as a transgender model: She is a member of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit now.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has announced the 23-year-old model as a 2020 rookie for July 21 issue, which points out the first time the iconic magazine has featured a transgender model.
In an exclusive conversation, Sampaio has spoken to People about the moment when she received the awesome news. She said:
“I was filled with so many emotions of happiness when I heard the news. The feeling was surreal. Being in SI Swim has always been on my bucket list of things to achieve in my career.”
“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.”
She describes this issue as a ‘major milestone’ for the entire LGBTQ community. She explains:
“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. 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.”
On the other hand SI Swimsuit’s editor MJ Day was interviewed by People and said that it was a ‘great privilege’ to work with Sampaio for the latest issue:
“Every woman that represents a ‘first’ does so with the understanding that with the accolades and support that accompanies that title, scrutiny, and negativity also follows. The strength and resilience of her spirit and selflessness that [Sampaio] possesses must not go unrecognized. I am so proud that she chose to bring her message of hope and acceptance to us here at SI Swimsuit.”
“If that message touches one person and changes their perspective or allows them to see themself represented and celebrated for embracing who they are, then, in my opinion, there is no greater measure of success.”
You can also check out the Instagram posts of Valentina Sampaio below.