Lewis Freese Is Sports Illustrated Swim’s First Male Model

Twenty-one-year-old gender-fluid Lewis Freese has been acknowledged by Sports activities Illustrated Swim because the first-ever male finalist within the annual Swim Seek for 2021, which is led by an open casting name. That is his second yr making use of to the competition, and he is nonetheless a full-time scholar designing a significant in enterprise advertising and marketing, gender ladies sexuality research, and retail merchandising. Lewis hails from Minnesota and takes his spot as one of many 15 finalists who may go on to be included within the subject amongst others from the LGBTQ+ neighborhood like trans girl of coloration Leyna Bloom and trans mannequin Valentina Sampaio, each of whom made historical past on their very own.
“Swimwear is among the most binary types of clothes, and I consider Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit has redefined the true which means of what a swimsuit embodies.”
Lewis took the time to thank his followers and assist system in a video posted to Instagram, additionally increasing on the significance of this second to SI’s illustration in an interview with Individuals. “Swimwear is among the most binary types of clothes, and I consider Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit has redefined the true which means of what a swimsuit embodies. So Swim Search was and is the very best avenue for me to not solely proceed this dialog, however to take again the facility {that a} swimsuit has had over me for thus lengthy,” he mentioned.
Lewis understands that each particular person’s gender presents itself otherwise and can proceed to be open about his personal journey in discovering himself. “I’ve found that my gender fluidity is at all times current, and a few days I get up feeling like I fall underneath a number of gender identifications. I describe myself to others as simply Lewis as a result of figuring out with one set of pronouns or gender makes me really feel so restricted . . . I do know issues will fluctuate, and I would like those that too are struggling to know I’m, too,” he mentioned, explaining that the SI crew, which incorporates famend editor MJ Day, takes the time to pay attention to every particular person’s story and profession targets, giving them a platform to face for the inclusion that’s so past mandatory within the media area at this level.
“The modeling trade has a lot affect as a result of it is actually how the style, cosmetics, and leisure industries current themselves. If we are able to improve the variety of instances we see completely different gender and sexualities in ads and campaigns, these variations can turn into extra accessible and revered,” mentioned Lewis, who has a dream of proudly owning his personal enterprise to advertise gender-neutral merchandise down the road, and even delving into legislative work revolving round trans, queer, and nonbinary reform to enhance accessibility to secure healthcare and a top quality training and way of life.
It’s due to the inclusion of individuals like Lewis that we proceed to have this dialog and assist manufacturers, reminiscent of Sports activities Illustrated, which can be transferring in the proper course and paving the way in which towards an all-embracing vogue world with none exception. Learn on to see a few of Lewis’s Instagram photographs, taken by his photographer Ella Johnson, and get to know his backstory, then click on via to see the opposite SI finalists.


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