The next issue of Playboy will feature the first transgender Playmate in the magazine's history, 26-year-old French model Ines Rau.
Rau, who poses nude in the Playboy centerfold, is no stranger to the magazine's pages. She appeared in a May 2014 special "A-Z" edition, in a spread called "Evolution" which discussed the world's shifting attitudes to gender identity.
Her appearance has received a mixed reception among Playboy fans. One commented on the magazine's Twitter post, "I knew there was a reason I didn't subscribe," whereas another commentator said that Rau is "beautiful."
The model, who has also featured in Vogue Italia and fronted a campaign for Balmain, says that she is no longer reticent about discussing her transgender status and advises others to "just be who you are."
"I lived a long time without saying I was transgender. 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," she told Playboy.
genuinely happy that playboy is having a transgender woman playmate featured— annoying (@sadoblivion) 20 октября 2017 г.
The issue is the first to be released since the recent death of founder Hugh Hefner, whose picture will appear on the front cover in a tribute.
Although Rau is the first transgender Playmate, she is not the first transsexual model to feature in Playboy. Caroline Cossey posed for the magazine in 1981, shortly before she appeared in the James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only. She was outed as transsexual following the movie's release, after which she appeared in Playboy again in 1991.