Laith Ashley Makes History as the First-Ever Trans Member of the ‘Drag Race’ Pit Crew
Some eagle-eyed fans spotted transgender model Laith Ashley amongst the Pit Crew in the upcoming episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. As such, Ashley would be the first-ever transgender Pit Crew member, making a small bit of history on the popular drag queen reality TV competition.
He appears in the Season 10 mini-challenge for a game called “Pants Down Bottoms Up.” We’re not exactly sure what’s involved, but it looks sexy and cheeky — count us in!
Ashley is a well-known model and LGBTQ figure. We’ve featured in Ashley is several of our past articles including our list of insanely hot models who aren’t just buff, cis white guys; people who should win People magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive award; and 20 sexy Instagrammers who represent our ideal fitness goals. We even included him in our list of 100 LGBTQ cultural game-changers.
You might’ve seen Ashley on Oxygen’s 2016 show Strut about the world’s first trans modeling agency.
He also publicly dated fellow trans model Arisce Wanzer (they met on the series); the two often shared peeks into their life together on Instagram and even appeared in a steamy video together entitled “Private Affair” (below).
Ashley appeared in a Barneys New York campaign shot by legendary photographer Bruce Weber and also appeared in Diesel’s Spring Summer 2017 campaign entitled Make Love Not Walls (a reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s promise to build a wall between Mexico and the United States).
For the campaign iconic photographer David LaChapelle shot photos of Ashley along with Drag Race Season 3 winner Raja, male ballet dancer Sergei Polunin and trans model and homeless advocate Octavia Hamlett.
Laith Ashley appears in the Make Love Not Walls campaign video at around 1:08:
Ashley started transitioning in January 2014 and gained a following after transgender actress Laverne Cox shared an Instagram pic of him posing in Calvin Klein briefs.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Ashley said, “I think the representation of gay men on television, especially, is so stereotypical. I don’t think that’s a problem, but it’s not all gay is…. Same with trans people. You sensationalize it and oversexuallze it, and then you have people asking questions that they would not be asking a cis gender person, especially about your body.”
At the same time, Ashley says he’d love to speak at universities and help educate others about his experience.