New Playboy cover makes trans history with queer activist Victoria Volkova ‘celebrating different ways of being a woman’
Victoria Volkova, a Mexican LGBT+ activist and beauty influencer, has made history as the first transgender woman to grace the cover of Playboy Mexico.
Volkova, 27, is a vocal advocate for the LGBT+ community in Mexico, which is the world’s second-deadliest country for trans people.
She wrote on Instagram that her Playboy Mexico cover “celebrates the different ways of being a woman, the different ways of being beautiful, the different ways of exploring your sensuality and enjoying your process”.
“I hope that with this cover people are more curious,” Volkova continued. “More curiosity to know each other, more curiosity to know what it is like to be a trans person.
“More curiosity about how trans people live in this country and in the world and what we have to go through to live a dignified life, to be respected, to earn a living, to earn the respect of others, to be heard and dignified, to get a job, to survive school, to survive in this society that does not turn to see us or our problems.”
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Antes que nada… GRACIAS. Esta portada celebra las diferentes formas de ser mujer, las diferentes formas de ser bella, las diferentes formas de explorar tu sensualidad y disfrutar de tu proceso. Espero que con esta portada las personas tengan mas curiosidad. Más curiosidad de conocerse, más curiosidad de conocer cómo es ser una persona trans. Más curiosidad de cómo viven las personas trans en este país y en el mundo y qué es lo que tenemos que pasar para vivir una vida digna, para ser respetadas, para ganarnos la vida, para ganarnos el respeto de los demás, para ser escuchadas y dignificadas, para conseguir un trabajo, para sobrevivir la escuela, para sobrevivir en esta sociedad que no nos voltea a ver ni a nosotras ni a nuestros problemas. Esta portada también es hacer las pases conmigo misma. Por mucho tiempo odiaba mi cuerpo y odiaba ser una mujer trans, ya que pensaba que eso era lo que me hacía una persona menos valiosa, menos merecedora del amor, menos “normal”. Pero después aprendí que la que tenía que aceptarse era yo misma antes de exigir que los demás me aceptaran, porque cuando te aceptas tu primero te deja de importar lo que los demás opinen de ti. Cuando aprendes a amarte a ti misma y a ver todo lo que te hace hermosa y valiosa. Cuando abrazas tus imperfecciones y les dices que gracias por hacerte tan única y tan diferente. Cuando aprendes que tu mayor diferenciador, eso por lo que la gente te molestaba en la escuela, es lo que años después te convertirá en una persona que va a resaltar del resto. Pueden leer la carta completa y ver las fotos en el link en mi bio #VictoriaEnPlayboy @playboymx
Announcing the historic edition, Playboy Mexico said that the magazine “supports the battles for openness and diversity that are fought by so many across Mexico”.
“Playboy Mexico, in line with its parent company in the United States, has always been in favour of all social struggles. We invite you to explore this edition that will undoubtedly become one of the favourites in your collection,” Playboy Mexico added.
Victoria Volkova says her historic Playboy cover is about ‘making peace with myself’.
Victoria Volkova acknowledged the struggles with being trans in Mexico in her Instagram post about the cover, saying it was also about “making peace with myself”.
“For a long time I hated my body and hated being a trans woman, since I thought that was what made me a less valuable person, less deserving of love, less ‘normal’,” she shared.
“But later I learned that the one who had to accept myself was myself before demanding that others accept me, because when you accept yourself first, you no longer care what others think of you.
“When you learn to love yourself and to see everything that makes you beautiful and valuable. When you embrace your imperfections and tell them thank you for making you so unique and so different.
“When you learn that your greatest differentiator, that is why people teased you at school, is what years later will make you a person who will stand out from the rest.”
Data collated by LGBT+ anti-violence group Letra Esse suggests that at least 117 LGBT+ people were brutally murdered in Mexico in 2019, in what activists dubbed the worst year on record in half a decade. Trans women – one of the most vulnerable and marginalised communities in Mexico – accounted for more than half of the murders, while a third of the victims were gay men.
The first trans woman to appear on a Playboy cover was Caroline Cossey, in 1991. In 2017, Ines Rau was the second, and in 2018 Playboy Germany showed trans woman Giuliana Farfalla.
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