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Kim Petras Is Second Trans Model on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover

Kim Petras Is Second Trans Model on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover

Kim Petras
Photo by Roger Kisby/WWD via Getty Images

Kim Petras

The Grammy winner, who just keeps making history, has also announced when her new album is coming out.

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Pop star Kim Petras is one of four cover models for Sports Illustrated’s 2023 swimsuit edition, making her only the second out transgender woman to appear on the cover, the publication announced Monday. Model and actress Leyna Bloom was the first, having been on the cover in 2021.

“It’s definitely a scary time to be transgender in America, but there’s also so much more representation than there’s ever been, and there’s so many things on the bright side,” Petras told the magazine. “I do feel a pressure sometimes to represent the trans community with everything I do, because I feel very blessed that I am at this point where I have all these amazing opportunities that I’ve worked really hard for and feel so happy when I hear from trans people in general that they’re inspired by me.”

“While she’s proud that the trans community is inspired by her work, she uses her platform to encourage others to reach for the stars, regardless of gender or sexuality,” Sports Illustrated notes.

Petras also revealed Monday that her latest album, Feed the Beast, will be released June 23. It’s her first on a major label. “It's super exciting to have my Sports Illustrated cover and album announcement happening at the same time!” Petras told People. “[Photographer] Yu Tsai and the whole team at Sports Illustrated made me feel really comfortable and like I belonged there. I had the best time and, honestly, it was a huge confidence boost.”

This wasn’t Petras’s first historic achievement this year. In February, she and nonbinary singer Sam Smith won the Grammy for best pop duo or group performance, making her the first trans woman to win. “I just wanted to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me who kicked these doors open for me so I could be here tonight,” Petras said at the ceremony.

Petras, photographed in Los Angeles, is joined by three other cover stars — actress Megan Fox, model Brooks Nader, and TV host and business owner Martha Stewart, who at 81 is the oldest SI swimsuit cover model in history.

Bloom is returning this year as a model on the inside of the issue. In 2021, she became not only the first out trans woman to grace the cover but also the first trans woman of color to appear in the issue at all.

The swimsuit issue will be on newsstands Thursday.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.