Actress-model Leyna Bloom appears on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, making her the first transgender woman to do so.

“This moment heals a lot of pain in the world,” Bloom wrote on Instagram. “We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder.”

“I'm so happy, honored, and humbled to share that I'm the 1st trans woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated!” she added.

Bloom, who is believed to be 27, is known as the “Polynesian Princess” in the international ballroom scene. In 2017, she became the first transgender woman of color to appear in Vogue India. She broke another barrier in 2019 when her feature film debut in Port Authority at the Cannes Film Festival made her the first transgender woman of color in a leading role of a movie featured at a major film festival.

“I dedicate this cover to all ballroom femme queens past, present and future,” Bloom said. “This historical moment is important to #girlslikeus because it allows us to live and be seen. Many girls like us don’t have the chance to live our dreams, or to live long at all. I hope my cover empowers those, who are struggling to be seen, feel valued. Let me be a messenger guiding us to a future of respect and appreciation for all women in all forms and from all walks of life.”

“I truly believe everything we do and everyone we meet are put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents. We're all teachers and if you are willing to pay attention to the lessons, trust your positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks, the possibilities are infinite!” she said.

Last year, model Valentina Sampaio became the first transgender woman to be included in Sports Illustrated's annual issue.