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Meet Playboy’s First Transgender Centrefold!

Meet Playboy’s First Transgender Centrefold!

Ines Rau is the first ever transgender Playboy centerfold!

Playboy magazine has featured its first transgender 'playmate' centrefold in its November issue, which the model Ines Rau hopes will pave the way for "all women — trans or otherwise — in fashion and other sectors".

The 26-year-old will receive the title in in the November/December 2017 issue of Playboy where she takes part in a photo-spread and opens up in an interview about her transgender identity, making her the first openly transgender person to be named a Playboy Playmate in the 64-year history of the publication!

"I lived a long time without saying I was transgender," the Rau tells Playboy. "I dated a lot and almost forgot. I was scared of never finding a boyfriend and being seen as weird. 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."

Later in the interview, the model reflects on society's limited notions of womanhood, saying that "Being a woman doesn't mean being extremely feminine all the time. Being a woman is just being a woman."

ines-rau-playboy

Rau previously appeared in Playboy magazine in 2014, though not as a Playmate. Other transgender women have also appeared in the covers of Playboy before, though not as official Playmates.

The Playboy feature comes as transgender models are becoming increasingly visible in fashion brands and media.

"Every woman's beauty deserves to be celebrated," Rau, 26, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in her first interview to the media about the feature. "No one deserves to be a woman more than those (trans women) who routinely suffer abuse and are treated like they're less than nothing."

In March the French edition of Vogue featured a transgender model for the first time on its cover, as did Marie Claire Spain in 2016.

Rau said Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, an outspoken supporter of civil rights, had personally chosen her to be the magazine's first transgender playmate before he died at the age of 91 in September, and "told me he was very proud of me".

"The messages of encouragement I've received from people have been amazing, although I'm still told by some that I'm ugly and should never be allowed in Playboy,: she said in a phone interview.

Rights groups celebrated the feature as a positive step bringing LGBT rights into the spotlight.

"Trans women are women. That is not up for debate, by media commentators or anyone else. We applaud Ines for continuing to speak out on the rights of trans people everywhere," said a spokesman for LGBT charity Stonewall.

The decision to feature Rau in Playboy sparked debate on social media, with one man commenting on the magazine's Facebook page that "this was the last straw, sorry but I like my women real, not 500 surgeries later".

"There will always be trolls," said Rau. "But if I can help others to love themselves then it's worth it."

You go girl!

Janelle Cheesman, PR Specialist & Sexual Wellness Writer
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