Men’s magazine Playboy has broken new ground with a nude transgender centrefold in its November issue.
Ines Rau, a French fashion model who was featured nude in a 2014 issue of Playboy, is the first transgender model to appear as a centrefold in the magazine’s 64-year history.
Rau hopes it will pave the way for “all women – trans or otherwise – in fashion and other sectors”.
“Every woman’s beauty deserves to be celebrated,” Rau, 26, told Reuters.
“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.”
Rau was personally chosen by late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner before he died at the age of 91 in September.
“He told me he was very proud of me,” Rau said.
“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.”
The stunning photos feature Rau in everything from a cute sweater and bunny ears, to a bra and underwear.
While the decision to feature Rau as centrefold has sparked debate on social media, rights groups celebrated it 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,” a spokesman for LGBT charity Stonewall said.
“We applaud Ines for continuing to speak out on the rights of trans people everywhere.”
(Pictures courtesy of Derek Kettela/Playboy)