PLAYBOY MAGAZINE makes history with first openly gay cover star, Bretman Rock. The cover of Playboy magazine’s October 2021 digital issue, features the 23-year-old, who becomes the first openly gay male to secure the coveted spot. According to Playboy, Rock isn’t the first man to rock different parts of the iconic outfit. However, he is only the third to appear on the cover of the men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine, behind the magazine’s late founder Hugh Hefner and, in July 2020, Latin pop star Bad Bunny; Rock is the first out gay man.
His father, Edmund Laforga, was a fan of professional wrestling and gave him a name based on those of Bret Hart and The Rock. The Hawaii-based Filipino influencer isn’t new to the spotlight after making a name for himself on YouTube and the short-form video app Vine, where Rock displayed both his humor and his skill with makeup. And while videos of him applying contour and trying out drag makeup came long before there were other men in makeup gaining notoriety online, Rock continues to break boundaries with his latest cover shoot.
Rock started as a comedian and meme creator on YouTube and Vine before shifting to vlogs and beauty tutorials. He is also known for his humorous views on life. In 2016, one of Rock’s contouring videos went viral. He was inspired by vlogger Talia Joy and makeup artist Patrick Starrr. Also in 2016, he signed a management contract under ABS-CBN’s Adober Studios, a creator network on social media owned by the Philippines’ largest media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation.
His younger sister, Princess Mae, and her daughter, Cleo, and their cousin, Keiffer (“Miss K”), frequently appear in Rock’s videos, such as for mukbang. His friend, Larry, and his former editor, Agatha Danglapin, also made several brief appearances in his videos. Though he rarely features other influencers on his channel, Rock has collaborated with James Charles, Bella Poarch, Nikita Dragun, and Chelsea Handler.
In 2017, Time magazine recognized him among the 30 Most Influential Teens. He was also included in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia – Media, Marketing, & Advertising” list in 2018.
In June 2019, Rock was featured on the Pride Month cover of Gay Times. In September 2019, Rock attended his first New York Fashion Week where he collaborated with stylist Andrew Gelwicks.
Rock played the role of “The Playboy” in the ten-episode fourth season of the YouTube Premium web series Escape the Night, released in July 2019. In December 2019, MTV announced that Rock would be the star of the next season of the YouTube show, No Filter.