Geena Rocero opens up about making Playboy history

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jun 24 2019 01:19 PM | Updated as of Jun 24 2019 06:44 PM

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NEW YORK - Filipino trans rights activist and model Geena Rocero made history, as the first transgender Asian American and Pacific Islander to pose as a Playboy playmate in its gender and sexuality issue on Pride Month.

Rocero appears in the magazine’s most coveted spot – the centerfold of Playboy’s summer 2019 edition.

French model Ines Rau takes the honor of becoming Playboy’s first ever transgender centerfold.

Rocero is also celebrating another milestone as a trans rights activist as New York legislators approved a ban on the use of the “gay panic” and “transgender panic” defenses in murder cases on Wednesday.

Gay panic defense is described as when a defendant justifies a violent act by claiming that they suffer temporary insanity upon finding out a victim’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

“The trans-panic ban here in NYC, and me being part of Playboy, being celebrated, confirms that transwomen and transpeople are human beings that deserve respect, to be affirmed and celebrated and for so long these trans-panic defense has been used to weaponize to oppress people, dehumanize people,” said Rocero.

Trans women like Rocero believe that this gay and trans panic ban will send a loud message to prosecutors, judges and juries and even defense attorneys that a victim’s sexuality cannot be weaponized and that they cannot leave it to the judges and juries to make a decision based on a vague defense claim known as trans panic.