"Am I really going to be a Playmate—me?" the 26-year-old, originally from Paris, France, playfully asked. "It’s the most beautiful compliment I’ve ever received. It’s like getting a giant bouquet of roses." The international model who actually got her start with Playboy in 2014 in their Evolution spread, surveying "humanity’s halting shift toward acceptance of gender identities beyond the male-female binary."
Rau gets refreshingly honest in her Playboy profile; "I lived a long time without saying I was transgender," says Rau. "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 is posing nude in the November issue. "Nudity shouldn’t be taboo. Nudity means a lot to me, since I went through a transition to get where I want to be," she explained. "Nudity is a celebration of the human being without all the excess. It’s not about sexuality but the beauty of the human body, whether male or female. You can’t lie."
The announcement has already received a staggering number of ugly comments (that we'd rather not publish), and Playboy dropped an incredible "Well, actually..." on all the haters soon after the initial tweet. Rau isn't the first trans model to pose for the magazine; the first was in 1991.
Rau is thrilled to be a part of Playboy's legacy. "I’m an advocate for anyone who is scared to be who they really are because they fear being judged or rejected," Rau explained. "They should be empowered by their differences and not be who society tells them to be."