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Playboy Features First Transgender Playmate

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 10/19/2017 Stephanie Chan
Ines Rau for the Playboy November/December issue © Courtesy of Derek Kettela/Playboy Ines Rau for the Playboy November/December issue

French model Ines Rau makes history as the first openly transgender model to become a Playboy playmate.

Photographed by Derek Kettela, Rau appears in a pictorial and centerfold in Playboy's November/December issue, which pays tribute to its late founder Hugh Hefner, who passed away last month. © Provided by The Hollywood Reporter

Rau previously posed in Playboy's May 2014 "A-Z" issue, starring in a spread called "Evolution" that looked at the acceptance of gender beyond the male-female binary. "It's how I celebrated my coming out, actually," she told the mag. Not long after, she signed with a modeling agency.

The Paris-born beauty has appeared in a Balmain campaign and Vogue Italia. She's also appeared in the front row of Desigual, Zuhair Murad and AREA fashion shows.

Rau says it took her a while to find her confidence. "I lived a long time without saying I was transgender," she 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."

Beyond the fashion world, the 26-year-old tells the men's mag, "I just signed a book deal, and I just shot a film. I really want to be an action star!" She hopes to "call Los Angeles home soon."

While Rau is the first transgender playmate, Playboy has previously featured a transgender model: Caroline "Tula" Cossey, who played a Bond girl in For Your Eyes Only, bared it all in 1981. A year later, British tabloid News of the World revealed Cossey was born as a man. She posed again for Playboy in 1991.

"It's the most beautiful compliment I've ever received," Rau says of becoming a playmate. "It's like getting a giant bouquet of roses."

Playboy's November/December 2017 issue is now available for download at playboy.com and on newsstands nationwide on Oct. 31.

Related slideshow: 25 facts you never knew about Playboy (via Photo Services)  Facts to know about Hugh Hefner and Playboy magazine


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