Tyson Beckford Gets Close With Transgender Model Ines Rau For Magazine Spread And It Has Folks Talking

November 8, 2013  |  

Here’s a side to Tyson Beckford we rarely get to see, and when I say “side,” I mean his backside, all oiled and glistening under the lights…

According to FabMagazine, an editorial in the latest issue of French beauty and luxe magazine Oob has paired the 42-year-old former Ralph Lauren Polo model with transgender, rising model Ines Rau for a series of very hot, and very “nekkid” pictures, which are setting the Internet on fire. Brightly entitled In Our Skin, the series of photos takes on both literal and figurative meaning, as both Tyson and Rau’s bodies are intertwined and harmoniously posed for the majority of the black and white spread (they’re a little too raunchy for our site, but see the full images here). But what makes the spread both provocative and controversial (aka viral-worthy) is that it features Tyson posed crotch-to-crotch with Rau and teasingly biting at her lip. Those kind of pictures tend to rehash all sorts of speculation about his sexuality. Why? Because what straight man would pose unclothed  in such compromising positions with a transgender woman? 

The answer, of course, is a working model, whose job it is to be professional and model. Oh, and a non-homophobe, who in a previous interview with BET, addressed the gay rumors by saying, “Yeah, it’s just one hater that put that on me. But, don’t get me wrong, I work with GLAAD, I work with Gay Men’s Health Crisis—I work with all of that. It’s just I’m a straight man who got a little bit of style so they just say, ‘He’s gay.’”

Nevertheless, it would be hard not to feign some excitement or fascination over the photos, specifically awing at the stunningly beautiful and graceful Rau and pondering how her visibility, alongside one of the sexiest men alive, might impact how society perceives and respects trans women. The website Models.com has an interview with the French/North African model about being transgender in the modeling industry, and she credits as her inspiration Caroline Cossey, aka Tula, the English-born transgender supermodel, most notably known for her role in James Bond films and posing fully unclothed in Playboy. According to Models.com, Rau said:

After reading her book [I Am Woman] at least two times I realized how important it is to assume who you are with no fears. I am twenty-four years old and have done the change very young, at 16. Until now I wasn’t really out about it. I just woke up one day realizing that it’s enough, I need to embrace who I am and be loved for what I am and what I have been through- without the fear of being rejected.”

Later in the interview, Rau also gives advice to young folks, who too are struggling with gender identity:

 “I would tell them to follow what’s in their hearts and to not be scared to do what they have to do if necessary. But very important to have consulted specialists to make sure that changing your body is the right answer. Having a sex change is not the answer to insecurities or other issues, a lot of transgender do not understand that it has to be done with reflection: because of a real deep desire to be a woman from a younger age. It’s fabulous the level of happiness- it’s just absolutely impossible to describe. I’m the happiest girl in the world, just being what I wanted to be. You have to love yourself enough to go for it without the fear of being judged or rejected. That’s my advice for them.”

I think that is beautiful advice for any person struggling with self-acceptance. Other trans woman models who have managed to find success in the industry include Nicole Gibson, Brazilian models Lea T and Roberta Close, and American Next Top Model Contestant Isis King. With such success, you can expect more spreads like this, and we’re all for it.


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