Bretman Rock is Playboy's first openly gay male cover star

Updated 5th October 2021
Bretman Rock arrives to the 2019 E! People's Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar on November 10, 2019.
Credit: Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images
Bretman Rock is Playboy's first openly gay male cover star
Written by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN
Bretman Rock has donned Playboy's famed bunny ears and become the first out gay man to star on its cover.
The 23-year-old Filipino beauty influencer, who rose to fame on YouTube before landing his own MTV show, is one of the few men to ever wear the Playboy ears, joining actors Ezra Miller and Paul Rudd. And he follows in the footsteps of Bad Bunny, who made history last July as the magazine's first male cover star (besides its late founder, Hugh Hefner).
"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," Rock is quoted as saying on Playboy's Instagram page. Rock has worked with the brand before, producing clothing with them, but it's his first time posing in an editorial for the magazine.
The shoot is digital-only, as the brand dropped its print magazine in March 2020 after 66 years, citing "disruption" in production and supply chains caused by the coronavirus pandemic The new digital cover was photographed by Brian Ziff and features Rock in the Playboy Bunny ears, necktie and cuffs -- which have also been worn by icons including Kate Moss and Dolly Parton -- in addition to a black corset and black platform heels. Ziff also photographed a second set of glittering, retro-looking images featuring Rock with gem-encrusted lips and slinky velvet black gloves.
Rock recently showed up to the MTV Video Music Awards wearing a tribute to the late singer Aaliyah -- the black and yellow Roberto Cavalli dress she wore to the event in 2001. And though Rock is known for his glamorous looks, he told Playboy his personal style has more of a sense of ease to it.
"My personal style is very much like who Bretman Rock is. Not giving a f*** and wearing whatever I feel cute in," he is quoted as saying. "I look cute in this today but I could've done this s*** naked. Just saying."
Rock was honored by MTV at the event with the Breakthrough Social Star Award, and shortly after, he told CNN it was a long time coming. "I've been doing this for six years and to (be) recognized as a breakout star... I've been doing this for six years, what do you mean I'm a breakout star?"
Top image: Bretman Rock at the E! People's Choice Awards in 2019.