Bretman Rock is the first openly gay, male cover star in Playboy history

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Bretman Rock is the first openly gay, male cover star in Playboy history
Bretman Rock Roy Rochlin/Getty Images
  • Bretman Rock is Playboy's first openly gay cover star.
  • Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny was the first solo male Playboy cover star in 2020.
  • Rock, who is Filipino, appears on the cover during Filipino American History Month.

Bretman Rock, a 23-year-old Flipino influencer with an online audience of millions, is the first gay, male Playboy cover star, appearing on the magazine's October digital cover. With photos and video of Rock posing in the iconic Playboy bunny suit, the publication announced that he was the cover star on social media on October 1.

Rock rose to fame on YouTube predominately through beauty and makeup-focused content but began to shift his focus away from the beauty industry in 2020. The content creator has 8.8 million subscribers on YouTube and 17.8 million followers on Instagram.

He previously told Insider in a February interview that in the time since, he has expanded his purview, saying that he wanted to "switch up the gender labels of freakin' fashion." He's also starred in his own MTV reality show called "Following: Bretman Rock."

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Rock, per Playboy, isn't the first man to don the iconic bunny suit. He's also not the first male star to adorn the cover, following in the footsteps of Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny, who made history by being the first man to appear alone on the cover, CNN reported, with the exception of Hugh Hefner, Playboy's founder.

Rock is, however, the first out gay man to appear solo on the cover.

"For Playboy to have a male on the cover is a huge deal for the LGBT community, for my brown people community and it's all so surreal. A total 'is this even fucking happening right now?' type of vibe. And I'm so pretty," Rock was quoted as saying in a tweet on the official Playboy account.

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"I'm a @playboy bunny," Rock said in his own tweet about the digital cover. "DUHHHHHH."

Anthony Allen Ramos, the head of talent at LGBTQ media advocacy group GLAAD, told Yahoo in a statement that Rock's appearance not only as a gay man but a Filipino one was a milestone.

"As the first out gay man to cover the magazine, especially during Filipino American History Month, Bretman Rock is continuing to defy gender norms and use his massive social platform to not only break down barriers for LGBTQ inclusion in the industry, but also inspire so many other LGBTQ Filipinos who have been underrepresented in fashion, modeling, and across media," Ramos told Yahoo.

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In a Twitter thread, Playboy spoke out on Rock's behalf, saying that while it had received a great number of supportive comments, it had also received offensive ones regarding Rock's cover.

"If a gay man feels sexy in a bunny costume, an iconic symbol of sexiness, why shouldn't he be able to wear it proudly?" The official Playboy account tweeted.

Read more stories from Insider's Digital Culture desk.

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