model ines rau is the first transgender 'playboy' playmate

"It’s a salvation to speak the truth about yourself," the Balmain and Hood by Air model told the iconic men's mag.

by Hannah Ongley
19 October 2017, 7:01pm

Photography Thomas Lohr.

Playboy's November/December 2017 issue is full of firsts. As the first issue to hit stands following the death of Hugh Hefner last month, the magazine is honoring its iconic pioneer as its first solo male cover star. Inside, Playboy is putting another history-making spin on its traditional gender dynamic. Ines Rau will be the magazine's first openly transgender playmate. Rau was first shot for Playboy by Ryan McGinley in 2014 to celebrate her coming out. She has also modeled for Balmain, Hood by Air, and Vogue Italia.

"I lived a long time without saying I was transgender," Rau says in the accompanying interview. "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."

The announcement has provoked at least one charming commenter to suggest Hef would never make a radical Playmate choice. Apparently, not all Hef's fans are familiar with his legacy. When Bond Girl Caroline Cossey was outed as trans following a Playboy shoot in the early 80s, Hef decided to give the model/actress a second Playboy cover spread in 1991, making Cossey the first openly trans woman to appear in the magazine. If anything, Hef would probably be stoked to see his mag is still making waves.

Hugh Hefner
trans model
ines rau