Supermodel Geena Rocero is the first transgender Asian Pacific Islander to appear as a Playboy playmate, and her shoot was released on Tuesday (June 18) in the magazine’s Gender and Sexuality issue.
Rocero was born in the Philippines but moved to America when she was 17, and she spoke to Playboy about the contradictions of growing up trans in Manila.
“I come from a strict Catholic upbringing in the Philippines—the only place in the world besides Vatican City where divorce is illegal, but also a place where transgender beauty pageants are broadcast on national television.”
She is the second openly trans woman to be a Playboy playmate in the magazine’s 64-year history, with the first being Ines Rau in 2017. Trans model Tula appeared as a playmate in 1991, but was outed afterwards by the British press.
(Geena Rocero/ Instagram)
Gina Rocero: “This is our lived experience. It’s not up for debate.”
Rocero said in her Playboy profile that the nude shoot in the Costa Rican jungle was “a perfect metaphor for the dream of trans people and the way our bodies should always be seen: as natural as can be.”
The supermodel continued: “For so long we trans people have not been in charge of our own stories, and our representation has been predicated on the idea that we’re not the people we are. Obviously, this is who we are. This is our lived experience. It’s not up for debate.”
The magazine’s Gender and Sexuality issue aims to showcase Playboy’s support of the LGBT+ community. A statement from the editors said: “Playboy is committed to providing a platform for those voices who broaden the definition of “normal,” who confront social conventions and who celebrate the power of diverse identities.
Playboy’s Pride is Good campaign is raising money for The Trevor Project to stop conversion therapy.