Who is Laith Ashley? Trans actor stars in Taylor Swift’s Lavender Haze music video

taylor swift laith ashley music videoYouTube: Taylor Swift

Any new Taylor Swift track and video is bound to stir up ravenous interest from her millions of fans, but in her new music video for Lavender Haze, the true star of the show is her love interest, portrayed by Laith Ashley.

Released on January 27, the music video for Lavender Haze has already racked up a whopping 2.5 million views, and is sure to keep rocketing upwards.

The track is from Swift’s latest album, Midnights, and features a co-writing credit from her friend and actor Zoë Kravitz. Another actor involved in making this track a hit, though, is Laith Ashley.

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Who is Laith Ashley?

Featuring as the love interest in Swift’s latest self-directed music video, Laith Ashley De La Cruz is a transgender actor, model, and activist.

After first going viral in 2015 when his Instagram post was shared by actress Laverne Cox, his work has included numerous fashion runways and TV shows. In 2017, he became the first transgender model to feature in a Diesel campaign.

He really got his big break, though, when he was cast in reality show “Strut”, and then for his appearance in “Pose” on FX.

Promoting the new music video, Taylor Swift tweeted, “There is my incredible costar @laith_ashley who I absolutely adored working with.”

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Laith said he was “lost for words”, seemingly both for the opportunity and the adoration coming his way from Swift fans. “Trying to gather myself and my thoughts. I am so grateful. Thank you @taylorswift13.”

One particularly popular comment on the music video applauds Taylor for her casting decision:

“I’ve noticed ever since [Taylor’s] switched to the new record label and has more creative control in what she wants in music videos she’s had diverse men from different backgrounds as her love interests. Starting with Lover, Willow, and now Lavender Haze. I really appreciate the representation and inclusiveness.”

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Ashley De La Cruz said to French Vogue that he didn’t even know what transgender was until age 19, but by age 23, was out as trans and began medical transition.

Laith Ashley’s appearance in a Taylor Swift music video will now ensure he has an even bigger legion of fans supporting his future work.