By Nina

Ines Rau was the first openly transgender model ever to be featured in Playboy back in 2014. This year, she’s now officially the first Playmate to join the publication.

The 26-year-old told Playboy:

“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.”

Rau’s induction as a Playmate feels like coming full circle, as it was through the magazine that she first publicly identified herself as transgender. Her coming out in Playboy helped her get signed on with a modeling agency.

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