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Playboy Compares First Transgender Playmate To First Black Playmate In 1965

William Bradshaw

Hugh Hefner may have passed on, but Playboy is drawing on a decision he made in 1965 to defend their controversial decision to allow the first transgender Playmate. Ines Rau, a biological male who identifies as a woman, was announced last week as the first transgender Playmate to be featured in Playboy in its sixty-plus year history. This move drew no shortage of criticism when it was announced, including from porn star Jenna Jameson, who said ““I have a problem with it just like I have a problem with a transgender competing against biological women in sports”.

Playboy responded to its critics on Tuesday in a series of tweets defending its decision by comparing it to previous decisions the outlet had made that stoked controversy.

While not the first transgender Playmate, the first transgender person to be on the pages of Playboy was Caroline Cossey in the 1980s. Cossey later recalled in an interview with HuffPost that “the worldwide reach of the photos and feature had significant impact in changing erroneous preconceived ideas that a lot of people had about the trans community. I featured on Playboy magazine covers worldwide and the impact was huge on our acceptance ― I thank Hugh for that.”

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