by Leander Milbrecht
The Mexican queer activist and influencer Victoria Volkova (27) made history: She is the first transgender cover girl of Playboy Mexico. Groundbreaking, because Mexico is considered the second most dangerous country for the trans* community after Brazil.
Volkova shared her success on Instagram with her nearly one million followers. She wrote that the cover would celebrate the different ways of being a woman, being beautiful and exploring one’s own sensuality. She hopes that it will make people more open-minded and curious – to get to know each other and learn how transgender people live in Mexico and in the world and what they have to go through to live a dignified life.
But the cover is also an important step for her personally, as she emphasizes. It is important in order to be able to make peace with herself. For a long time she hated her body and the fact she was transgender – because she believed it made her a less valuable, less normal and a less lovable person. Only later did she realize that it was only important that one person accept her: herself. She celebrates this realization with her cover.
“When you learn to love yourself and see everything that makes you beautiful and valuable. When you embrace your imperfections and thank them for making you so unique and so different. When you learn that your greatest differentiator, why people teased you in school, is what makes you a person who stands out from the rest years later.”
Only Brazil is more deadly
The cover is also a political statement: Mexico is considered the second most dangerous country for transgender people in the world. According to the figures of the organization “Trans Murder Monitoring Project”, Mexico ranks second in the world behind Brazil in terms of the murder rate.
Even in relation to the fact that Mexico, which is torn by drug wars, is generally conspicuous by its high homicide rate, these figures are alarming: Of the 331 known murders of members of the trans* community worldwide between October 1, 2018, and September 30, 2019, 63 took place in Mexico – that corresponds to one in five murders. According to the organization, the number of unreported murders could be even higher.
Hugh Hefner also stood for visibility and diversity
In its statement on the historic issue, Playboy Mexico emphasized that the magazine would support the struggles for diversity and tolerance that are being fought by so many people in Mexico.
“Playboy Mexico, in agreement with its parent company in the United States, has always supported all social struggles. We invite you to discover this issue, which will undoubtedly be one of the favorites in your collection.”
Playboy has previously invited transgender women as playmates and models. In Germany Giuliana Farfalla 2018 became the first Trans* model on the cover, in the USA Caroline Cossey was already photographed for Playboy in 1991. In 2017 Ines Rau was Playmate of the Month – the cover was also reserved for her, but plans changed when magazine founder Hugh Hefner died shortly before. He was then honored on the cover. Regarding the plans to nominate Ines Rau as Playmate of the Month, he said before his death:
“I didn’t make that decision based off of whether or not individuals who were paying for products or are fans of the brand are going to be satisfied with it. I made the decision because it was the right decision to make, regardless of the comments that come out.”
- volkova: By Vicovolkov / instagram /playboyMX
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