Los Angeles Times

How Leyna Bloom became the first transgender actress of color to star in a film at Cannes

CANNES, France - Leyna Bloom turned up at the Port Authority bus terminal at 17 with one red suitcase and nowhere to put it. She'd saved up a little money working part time at McDonald's and Starbucks on the South Side of Chicago, the place she'd left behind 22 hours before. But it wasn't enough to pay rent, so she spent her first few weeks sleeping on the train, traveling between SoHo and Chelsea and Alphabet City, surviving on $1 slices of pizza.

She'd come to New York City in the hopes of being discovered. She felt she needed to take her life into her own hands after dropping out of the Chicago Academy for the Arts months earlier. When she was granted a scholarship to the prestigious dance program in her sophomore year, she'd already

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