American actor and model Leyna Bloom has become the first transgender cover star of Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue.

"I'm am so happy, honored, and humbled to share that I'm the 1st trans woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated! Thanks so much @mj_day & @si_swimsuit team for recognizing the importance of representation; this is all of our responsibility," Bloom wrote on her Instagram page on Monday.

"This moment heals a lot of pain in the world. We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder," she said.

Bloom, who is black and Filipino, is also the first ever trans woman of colour to be featured in the magazine, according to media reports. However, she is not the first trans model, after Brazilian Valentina Sampaio made history by becoming the first openly transgender model to be featured inside the magazine in July 2020.


A post shared by Leyna Bloom (@leynabloom)

Bloom of "Port Authority" fame became the first openly transgender woman of colour to appear in Vogue India in 2017.

Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue is known for showcasing women in revealing beachwear, especially bikinis.

Somali-American Halima Aden appeared in the 2019 issue as the first model in the magazine to wear a hijab and burkini.

This year's edition will also feature American rapper Megan Thee Stallion and Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka on two alternate covers.