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Taylor Swift casts transgender man as her love interest in new music video

Taylor Swift casts transgender man as her love interest in new music video

The video for 'Lavender Haze' is being praised for co-starring Laith Ashley

People are gushing over Taylor Swift's new music video which features a transgender male model as her love interest.

The 'Anti Hero' songstress released the ethereal clip for 'Lavender Haze' on Friday (27 January) and it's receiving heaps of praise from fans and activists alike.

'Lavender Haze' was written and directed by Swift, 33, and it sees the on-screen lovers lounging around in a dimly lit bedroom which transforms into a smokey, psychedelic landscape.

Laith Ashley, the 33-year-old model, activist and performer who stars alongside the Grammy Award-winning pop star, spends a fair amount of time in the video shirtless and in bed.

Ashley fast asleep in the 'Lavender Haze' music video.
Taylor Swift Productions/Revolution Pictures/YouTube

That being said, fans aren't complaining, far from it actually, as they celebrate seeing a transgender man on screen.

"No but the fact that the lavender haze music video has a trans actor as the male lead I love taylor swift," one Swiftie tweeted along with an emoji of the transgender flag.

Ashely is a model, activist and performer.

Another fan penned: "I’m happy Laith got this amazing opportunity."

A third admirer was brought to tears: "Taylor Swift releasing 'Lavender Haze' and having Laith Ashley portrayed as attractive and a love interest without making it about him being trans, or sexualizing him for it, is actually so important and I actually got tears in my eyes. It’s such a small thing but at the same time."

A fourth added: "I love that Taylor Swift can make a statement without making a statement.

Fans celebrate seeing a transgender man on screen.

"It’s a show of support to those in the know, and an way to make others think for a moment. Maybe this is enough to open some minds."

The video arrives at a time when politicians are attacking the rights of transgender people in the United States.

Utah became the first US state this year to ban gender-affirming health care for transgender people this week.

Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia have all introduced bills targeting health care access for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

Swift and Ashley get close in the music video.
Taylor Swift Productions/Revolution Pictures/YouTube

It is the latest setback in a wave of anti-LGBTQ legislation.

‘Lavender Haze’ is a huge deal for transgender representation.

The video was filmed in August, prior to Swift’s surprise announcement for her Midnights album at the 2022 MTV VMAs.

Following the release of the video, the singer shared a message on Instagram about working with Ashley: "There is lots of lavender. There is lots of haze. There is my incredible costar @laith_ashley who I absolutely adored working with. This was the first video I wrote out of the 3 that have been released, and this one really helped me conceptualize the world and mood of Midnights, like a sultry sleepless 70’s fever dream. Hope you like it."

“Having a trans person just being in love on screen, it’s humanizing trans people,” Ashley told Buzzfeed News following the video’s release.

“We deserve to exist. We deserve to take up space in society. We will always exist regardless of anti-trans propaganda.”

Featured Image Credit: Taylor Swift Productions/Revolution Pictures/YouTube

Topics: Music, Taylor Swift, Celebrity