"The messages of encouragement I've received from people have been awesome, although I'm still told by some that I'm ugly and should never be allowed in Playboy", she said in a phone interview on Thursday night. "And they were like, 'What's happened?' You know, feeling so lovely and embracing who I am feels so important right now".
"I feel like I was probably so many years too early", Cossey told Playboy in 2015 on the changing attitudes towards the transgender community.
"I lived a long time without saying I was transgender", the magazine quoted Rau as saying. "It's like getting a giant bouquet of roses", she added.
Rau says the photo shoot for Playboy is a compliment.
While Rau is the first transgender playmate, Playboy has previously featured a transgender model: Caroline "Tula" Cossey, who played a Bond girl in For Your Eyes Only, bared it all in 1981. Nudity is a celebration of the human being without all the excess.
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One commenter said: "When I open a Playboy, I expect to see women, not some guy who identifies as a woman, or some former male who has had the surgery to become female".
Check out a couple shots from the shoot below.
However, this cover is only the first tribute Playboy Enterprises has planned for Hefner.
And while the Playmate title is new this isn't Rau's first time being photographed for the revered men's magazine.
"I have a lot of support from my friends and people in the fashion industry".
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"Being a woman doesn't mean being extremely feminine all the time".
Which is why it's huge news that Playboy is about to feature their first ever trans Playmate, Ines Mau.
"I'm an advocate for anyone who is scared to be who they really are because they fear being judged or rejected". "... The advice I have for girls is to chill".
It's not about being loved by others; it's about loving yourself.
"It's a salvation to speak the truth about yourself, whether it's your gender, sexuality, whatever", Rau said in the interview.
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