Ines Rau, an openly transgender model French model, has been named Playboy’s first trans playmate.

At the age of 16, Rau transitioned and underwent sex reassignment surgery, after being inspired by the life story of English transgender model Caroline “Tula” Cossey. Cossey played as an extra in the James Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only, in 1981 and was featured in the magazine in 1991 after being outed by a British tabloid New of the World.

Rau posed in Playboy‘s May 2014 “A-Z” issue, starring in a spread called “Evolution” that looked at the acceptance of gender beyond society’s idea of being strictly a male or female. “It’s how I celebrated my coming out, actually,” she said in the story accompanying her new photo spread. Later Rue signed with the modeling agency.

Rau has modeled for Nicole Miller, Alexis Bitter and Barneys New York. Rue appeared in a Balmain campaign and in Vogue Italia. She’s appeared in the front row of Desigual, Zahair Murad and AREA fashion shows.

“I lived a long time without saying I was transgender,” Rue told 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.”

Rau will appear centerfold in Playboy‘s November/December issue, which pays tribute to Hugh Hefner. The late founder was 91 when he passed away last month after going into cardiac arrest and experiencing respiratory failure. The issue is now available online for download at and will be on newsstands worldwide on Oct.  31.

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