Playboy Names First Transgender Playmate In Magazine’s 64-Year History

By Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

History has officially been made. Model Ines Rau is now the first transgender playmate, and will appear on the cover of Playboy Magazine in the first issue since its founder Hugh Hefner died. Reportedly, the change is meant to move Playboy into “new” territory and advocate for LGBT rights.

According to the BBC, the November/December issue of Playboy is a 100-page tribute to Hefner, who was an advocate for LGBT issues. To remind the populace of his passing, a black-and-white portrait of the businessman is included on the magazine’s front cover image.

Says Rau in the magazine, “Being a woman doesn’t mean being extremely feminine all the time. Being a woman is just being a woman.” She added, “I always knew from within, when I was a little kid in my room in the ghetto, that a beautiful destiny was waiting for me. I don’t know how to explain it. A little voice was telling me, ‘You’ll see. Patience.’ ”

Rau first appeared in Playboy in its May 2014 edition, which looked at gender as non-binary. No stranger to modeling, Rau has appeared in Vogue Italia and even starred in a campaign for fashion brand Balmain. Now, with the release of November’s issue, she is the first transgender Playmate in the magazine’s 64-year history.

As VT points out, Rau is an ideal model to appear on the cover of the November issue, as she cares about many social plights — specifically, gender equality and women’s rights. She says in the magazine, “I will always fight for LGBTQ rights and women’s rights, but above everything else, my cause is the environment. Nothing touches me more than fighting against global warming. I was made to fight for the planet—the forest, the animals, the air. If I get famous, that’s my first battle.”

Unsurprisingly, the announcement has generated hoards of negative criticism. Apparently, the article received extremely transphobic comments. Some accused Rau of being a man — not a woman at all, despite transitioning to a woman during surgery. Fortunately, many people had supportive comments.

At the end of the day, the only reason Truth Theory is reporting on this development is because it is bringing the topic of gender expression and equality front and center. What are your thoughts?

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