Playboy makes history with first transgender playmate
The magazine has featured its first transgender playmate in its 64-year history.
CAPE TOWN – A 26-year-old French model has made Playboy magazine history after being featured as the first transgender playmate.
WATCH: Playboy's first transgender 'playmate' hopes to 'pave way for all women'
While Ines Rau has previously featured in the magazine, the November/December 2017 issue marks her debut as the first official transgender playmate, according to the Independent.
For a long time, Rau did not identify as transgender out of fear. She told Playboy: "I lived for a long time without saying I was transgender."
But later the model decided to live her truth.
“Then I was like, you know, you should just be who you are. It’s a salvation to speak the truth about yourself whether it’s your gender, sexuality, whatever. The people who reject you aren’t worth it. It’s not about being loved by others; it’s about loving yourself.”
Rau says being a woman doesn't mean being feminine all the time.
"Being a woman is just being a woman."
Playboy fans have expressed differing views on Rau’s feature, but many people have supported her.
The replies under this are despicable...... congratulations Ines Rau, being a woman is IN FACT just being a woman. https://t.co/isBLGbm3Ng— Chodey Foster (@Luzrach) October 19, 2017
Quick lil Ines Rau appreciation post 💖 Hef chose her b4 he died and she was in Playboy in ‘14. Sorry ur boner is making u uncomfortable ✌️ pic.twitter.com/OmnJN9cZbQ— skellyton 💀🎃 (@notkellymo) October 19, 2017
As a child, the playmate says she knew that she was destined for greatness.
“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.’ ”
She says Hugh Hefner “personally” chose her to be the magazine’s first centrefold before he died in September.
While Rau is the first transgender playmate to appear in the magazine, she is not the first transgender model.
Caroline "Tula" Cossey, a transgender model, who appeared in a James Bond film, posed for Playboy in 1981. But the playmate title is reserved for centrefold models.
Read more about her story here.