Transgender supermodel Valentina Sampaio, 24, is speaking out against the anti-trans laws that have swept the nation. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model spoke with HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY and explained why she believes the trans community is facing “cruel” anti-trans laws as 2021 breaks the record for having the highest number of anti-transgender bills in history.
“Trans youth need love and support, but instead are being targeted by measures that will harm them,” the Victoria’s Secret stunner said. “We should be uniting around ways to uplift trans youth today and always, not making life harder for them. I hope that trans youth see women like me at photo shoots and on runways and recognize the beauty of being trans. I want them to watch our film and see trans joy during this time when so many unnecessary and cruel laws are being passed.”
Sampaio is a Brazilian model and LGBTQ+ advocate. Her modeling career solidified when she appeared on the cover of French Vogue, becoming the first trans model to ever appear on any Vogue cover worldwide. Since then, she has continued to break barriers becoming the first trans woman to appear in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, as well as becoming Victoria’s Secret’s first trans ambassador.
Her reaction to the anti-trans laws comes amid Arkansas’ ban on gender-affirming treatment for trans youth, Mississippi’s transgender ban for female sports, and Dave Chappelle being slammed for his anti-trans rhetoric in his latest Netflix special.
On April 6, Arkansas lawmakers made the state the first to ban gender confirming treatments and surgery for transgender youth, enacting the prohibition over the governor’s objections. The Arkansas measure bans doctors from providing gender-affirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers, or surgery to anyone under 18 years old. It also prohibits doctors from referring the patients to other providers for treatment. Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves signed a bill to ban transgender athletes from competing on girls or women’s sports teams, making Mississippi the first state this year to enact such a ban.
The Texas Senate passed a bill on April 15 that would force transgender athletes at public schools to play sports using the gender listed on their birth certificate. More than 20 states are proposing restrictions on athletics or gender-confirming health care for transgender minors this year. Conservative lawmakers are responding to an executive order by Democratic President Joe Biden that bans discrimination based on gender identity in school sports and elsewhere. Biden signed it Jan. 20, the day he took office.
Meanwhile, Valentina made NFT (non-fungible tokens) history with her transgender-themed film, Lambada Dyed Red White Blue, and an auction of a CGI dress to benefit LGBTQ non-profits. Her CGI dress became the all-time highest priced fashion item NFT has sold at $300,000. She dished on her short film: “This project was such a labor of love for all involved,” she said. “It was a team of co-creators from around the world, across different industries coming together to raise awareness for trans lives and the violence transgender people are facing today, in support of our LGBTQ+ charities: Ali Forney Center, GLAAD and Pride Live. I feel so proud of what we’ve accomplished and am so grateful to have this platform to be able to amplify issues impacting the trans community.
“I feel so honored to have been able to spend that day with the beautiful all-trans cast on Rockaway Beach dancing our hearts out,” the Brazilian model said. “Much of our cast also included trans youth, who were so amazing to be with. It was such a wonderful celebration of trans joy and trans community! It’s so important for Trans youth to see the joy and beauty of who they are – who we all are.”