GLSEN, the leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive K-12 schools for LGBTQ+ youth, is excited to announce that Leyna Bloom will be honored with the Gamechanger Award at the 2022 GLSEN Respect Awards New York presented by Hollister on Monday, May 16 at Gotham Hall.
Leyna Bloom will be honored for her groundbreaking career and activism. Leyna was the first trans, Asian and Black woman on the cover of Sports Illustrated, first trans woman as the lead for a film premiering at the Cannes Film Festival and so many other game changing firsts. She is an outspoken advocate for trans youth and the LGBTQ+ community.
“Leyna Bloom is the definition of a game changer. She has broken countless barriers for trans women as an actress, model, dancer and activist,” said Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, GLSEN Executive Director. “Leyna uses her platform to lift up trans youth and help share their stories, and GLSEN is honored to celebrate Leyna with the Gamechanger Award.”
“I’m honored to join GLSEN at this year’s Respect Awards to receive the Gamechanger Award,” said Leyna Bloom. “GLSEN’s mission to ensure safe and inclusive school experiences for LGBTQ+ youth is so important, and I look forward to celebrating their work and all the other honorees.”
Bloom is an American actress, model, dancer, and activist. She has attracted press as a trailblazer for transgender women in the entertainment and fashion industries. In 2019, Bloom made her feature film acting debut in Port Authority, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. She has modeled for several brands and fashion designers, including Jeremy Scott, and has appeared in magazines such as Vogue India and Sports Illustrated. In October 2017, Bloom became the first openly trans woman of color to appear in Vogue India.
In 2021 Leyna made history again by becoming the first trans, Asian, and Black woman to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Her recent credits include the feature film Asking For It with Kiersey Clemons and Vanessa Hudgens that premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival, and the critically acclaimed series Pose.
Leyna Bloom will be honored at the 2022 GLSEN Respect Awards New York presented by Hollister on Monday, May 16. The celebration will take place at Gotham Hall in New York City and hosted by Star Trek: Discovery star Wilson Cruz. Leyna will be honored alongside Antoni Porowski and Nickelodeon.
The GLSEN Respect Awards, introduced in 2004 and held annually in Los Angeles and New York, showcase the work of students, educators, community leaders, and corporations who serve as exemplary role models and have made a significant impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ youth. Co-chairs include Joseph Carozza, Wilson Cruz, Amita Mehta, Michel Mercure, Ryan Pedlow, Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan, and Alicin Reidy Williamson. Honorary co-chairs include Kalen Allen, Jason Collins & Brunson Green, Carla Gugino, Billy Porter, Ali Wentworth & George Stephanopoulos, and Chely Wright.
For nearly three decades, GLSEN has led the way on LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 education through ground-breaking original research, innovative program development, educator training, student organizing, and targeted state and federal advocacy. With the development of educational resources, direct engagement of youth and educators, and GLSEN national programs like Day of Silence, Solidarity Week, and Changing the Game, GLSEN has seen the impact of its work in measurable improvements in the lives of LGBTQ+ students in the U.S.