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    Taylor Swift casts trans mannequin Laith Ashley as her love curiosity in “Lavender Haze” music video

    Taylor Swift dropped a brand new music video for her tune “Lavender Haze” at midnight on Friday, wherein her love curiosity is performed by a trans mannequin, Laith Ashley. He and a few of Swift’s followers applauded her for casting a trans man, giving illustration to different trans folks. 

    “Thanks [Taylor Swift] for permitting me to play a small half in your story,” Laith Ashley, whose full title is Laith Ashley De La Cruz, wrote on Instagram. “You might be sensible and that is an expertise I’ll always remember. It was actually magical.”

    Swift directed the music video, which is for the second single off of her latest album “Midnights.” Ashley mentioned Swift’s storytelling talents continues to go away him “in awe, impressed, and hopeful.”

    He additionally thanked her for giving others illustration along with his casting. “Thanks for being an ally. Illustration issues,” he wrote. “AND LOVE WILL ALWAYS WIN!”

    Ashley has additionally appeared in “Pose” and a music video for drag queen Manila Luzon’s tune “That is a Man Maury.” He was additionally on the fact sequence “Strut.” 

    He was the primary transgender man to be featured in a Diesel marketing campaign, in keeping with his IMDB bio. Earlier than turning into a mannequin and actor, he was a counselor for homeless youth in New York Metropolis. 

    Followers and associates left congratulatory feedback on Ashley’s put up concerning the “Lavender Haze” music video. “Thanks for representing all trans and being a part of historical past for us all. Lovely music video,” one commenter wrote.

    “Your influence is completely not a small half,” one other wrote. 

    “You might be an inspiration to the lgbtq+ neighborhood,” commented one other. 

    Swift additionally posted concerning the music video on her Instagram, sharing a number of pictures from the shoot. “There’s my unimaginable costar [Laith Ashley] who I completely adored working with,” she wrote. “This was the primary video I wrote out of the three which have been launched, and this one actually helped me conceptualize the world and temper of Midnights, like a sultry sleepless 70’s fever dream. Hope you prefer it.”

    Swift additionally directed the music video for “Antihero,” the primary single off of her newest album. And she or he has directed different music movies previously, together with one for “You Have to Calm Down” with Drew Kirsch, and “All Too Properly: The Quick Movie,” which each earned her an MTV Video Music Award for finest route. The latter additionally acquired a Grammy nomination for finest music video and is also submitted to the Oscars, in keeping with ET. 

    The video for “You Have to Calm Down” featured themes of LGBTQ acceptance and is stuffed with celebrities, most of them an integral a part of LGBTQ visibility: Laverne Cox, Dexter Mayfield, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Justin Mikita, Hayley Kiyoko, Chester Lockhart, and RuPaul, in addition to solid members of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” She additionally highlighted the Equality Act on the finish of the video. The invoice would defend LGBTQ rights. 

    Swift has additionally advocated for LGBTQ rights and the invoice a number of different occasions. In 2019, whereas performing “You Have to Calm Down” on the VMAs, she confirmed help for the invoice and known as out the Trump administration for not responding to a petition that urged lawmakers to swiftly cross it.

    “On this video, a number of factors had been made, so that you voting for the video means that you really want a world the place we’re all handled equally below the regulation, no matter who we love, no matter how we establish,” Swift mentioned throughout her acceptance speech for the fan-voted Video of the 12 months award.

    It was introduced final 12 months that Swift will write and direct a film produced by Searchlight Photos, the movie firm mentioned, in keeping with Leisure Tonight.