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Meet Lea T, the First Trans Person Featured in an Olympics Opening Ceremony

Meet Lea T, the First Trans Person Featured in an Olympics Opening Ceremony

Meet Lea T, the First Trans Person Featured in an Olympics Opening Ceremony

The model and advocate is so rad.

RachelCharleneL

Photo: Instagram (@leacerezo)

Major steps are being taken as a part of this year’s Rio Olympics, most notably the inclusion of model and advocate Lea T, an out trans woman. Lea T, also known as Leandra Medeiros Cerezo, will join other celebs in hosting the open ceremony.

We’re so happy to see more diverse representation of trans people in the mainstream, and the more we learn about her, the more we love her.

 

A photo posted by leacerezo (@leacerezo) on

Here are a few key things to know about Lea T!

1. On being included in the Olympics:

"I can’t say anything yet,” Lea T told BBC. “We need to keep the surprise, but the message is clear...include everyone, no matter their gender, sexual orientation, race or religion. We are all human beings and we are part of society. My role at the ceremony will help send this message.”

2. She's an accomplished model

She’s a Brazilian model first discovered by Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy in 2009. Since then, she's appeared in Vogue Paris and Love Magazine, and she’s repped Redken since last year.

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3. On those who've chosen to work with her, she told The Cut:

"It’s always a surprise because I know working with me is not the easiest thing. You have a lot of controversy, some people like it and other people hate it and it’s political. In the beginning, I was in shock. It was intense, you know? Then you get a little bit worried because of the kind of responsibility you have."

4. She credits former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner for raising visibility of trans women

"Something has changed. People are opening their minds. When I started, we were more like jumping in the dark, you know? We didn’t think about being first, because we always existed," Lea T told The Cut in 2015. "Now it's getting better. There’s much more visibility with Caitlyn."

5. She's passionate about changing the way we see trans women

"We are not all the same; we don’t need to have all the same prototype," she told The Cut. "In beauty, when there is a prototype, you become a slave of this icon, of this canon of beauty. But you need to see inside the person. With all this press we are doing, I’m trying to think like Redken, because I’m not an icon of beauty."

 

A photo posted by leacerezo (@leacerezo) on

We're so excited to learn more about Lea T, and can't wait to see her at the Olympics opening ceremony.

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Rachel Charlene Lewis

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer, editor, and queer woman of color based in North Carolina. Her writing has most recently appeared in Ravishly, Hello Giggles, and elsewhere.

Rachel Charlene Lewis is a writer, editor, and queer woman of color based in North Carolina. Her writing has most recently appeared in Ravishly, Hello Giggles, and elsewhere.