There’s a saying that good things come in threes. This proves to be the case for Valentina Sampaio. The 23-year-old Brazilian model became the first openly transgender model on the cover of Vogue Paris in 2017, first trans model hired by Victoria’s Secret in 2019, and the first transgender model to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2020.
— Sports Illustrated Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) July 10, 2020
In an essay for the publication, Sampaio explained:
“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. I recognize that I am one of the fortunate ones, and my intention is to honor that as best I can.”
The essay can be in its entirety on Sports Illustrated’s website.