LOVE + PRIDE 365: Laith Ashley Lights the way!


26 Magazine Laith Ashley Cover
Laith, you’ve become one of THE most recognizable faces of deeply important Trans-visibility. Did you ever imagine that you just being your true self would catapult you into SUCH fame/notoriety?

-I never imagined any of this. I had no idea where life would take me. I was just existing. Now I’m living!


26: What are you most proud of?

-Usually when it comes to speaking about what I'm proud of, I always hesitate because I’m someone that...often times, I don’t always live in the moment, and it’s something that I’m really working on. So for example, if I'm working on a really huge project and I'm super excited about it, once it's done, it’s like "okay I have to go on to the next thing". I have to kind of take a step back and tell myself "wait a minute, like, you’re getting what you asked for!! So... all of that to say, one of the things that I’m most proud of, is essentially how far I’ve come through my transition. It’s opened so many doors. I never thought that I'd be doing what I’m doing today. I used to be a social worker and that did bring me a lot of pride as well, it brought me a lot of satisfaction knowing that I was helping folks, but I feel like now I have such a bigger platform and I can reach even more folks! Some days it’s really like, WOW, I can’t believe I’m here and I’m doing all these things. Things that are beneficial for me but more importantly, for my community. It’s helping to open doors and changes hearts and minds, so I guess I’m [most] proud of that! :)


26: When you finally started seeing the physical (outside) “you” beginning to resemble how you’d been feeling within, what was that truly like for you?

-I honestly didn’t feel any different. It just felt like I was growing up. The changes to me weren’t this sensational thing people like to make a huge deal about. It was puberty. I grew more body hair and my voice dropped a couple octaves. I think we need to focus less on that, because it allows for people to only medicalize, sexualize and sensationalize transitioning bodies. 


26 Magazine Laith Ashley

26: Along your personal journey, is it more important to you that you’re recognized as a “Trans Male” Actor/Model Artist or would the accolades without label be the ultimate goal?

-I think the title of Trans Male is necessary now for visibility, but I hope eventually it doesn’t matter any more. Our world is diverse so everything else should be too!


What does “Pride Month” mean to you personally?

-Pride month means freedom. It means living automatically. Pride month means remembering and honoring those that came before, while continuing to fight for our freedom!


26: Reader Question: What’s your idea of the “perfect” date?

-Ewww, I don’t date [LOL]


26: Luxury can of course be both inner and outer, and you have one of the best, most lush beards we’ve ever seen!! What is the grooming secret??

-Hahaha, thank you. I just make sure I cleanse it with conditioner and moisturize it with oils. No big secret at all. Beard hair tends to be coarser and therefore dryer, so keeping it hydrated is very important. 


26 Magazine Laith Ashley

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

-Literally everything!! If there is an occupation, I wanted it and I wanted to be exceptional at it. Makes sense that I am an actor now; I can just play anything! 


26: Who/What’s your biggest support system?

-Myself. My family is across the country and they support me but this life is something they can’t always comprehend, so I have to do it on my own. My team also has a hand in there when I start to lose myself. So, huge shout out to Jake and Artrell for all their help :)

 

26: What [person, idea or centering thought] inspires you the most

-I am inspired by art and artists. Art to me is beauty!


26: Away from the glare of the public lens, who is Laith Ashley? What makes him happy?

-Sleep!!! LOL -10 years ago I may have answered this differently but now, I need 8-10 hours!



26: What’s your definition of luxury?

-To me, luxury is having leisure time. Enjoying a quiet meal alone and relaxing in a warm bath afterwards . To me, luxury is also having a beautiful home. I'm always at home. So for me, my space needs to feel and look and have a luxurious, clean vibe. I do like high end furniture just because the stitching is always better and it lasts longer. I enjoy artists as well, so having art pieces in my home that are going to last and come with me as I move and grow are important for me.


Where could you see yourself 26 years form now?

-26 years from now, I would hope to see myself living in a …….ha I’m talking about homes again, clearly very important to me. LOL. So 26 years from now, I imagine myself living in a beautiful home here in California, and hopefully having had a wonderful career modeling, acting and in music as well.....a lot of folks don't know I'm a songwriter and I sing. [Honestly] I’m just hoping to have a very long, successful career :)


26 Magazine Laith Ashley

26 Magazine Laith Ashley

26 Magazine Laith Ashley

Though pride month 2021 is coming to a close, being proud of who you are in a world that doesn’t always make space for it is an everyday existence for millions. While many of the big box stores will switch over logos and discount rainbow merchandise as July rolls in, we invite you to connect with the many many organizations below that need our help 365 days a year! Focusing in on being there for the overwhelming number of at-risk LGBTQ+ youth across the spectrum, together let’s be a bridge and create safe spaces for all.

Love Always,

-26


Arkansas

LUCIE'S PLACE: LITTLE ROCK, AK

Phone: 1-855-582-4377

www.luciesplace.org


California

LOS ANGELES LESBIAN & GAY CENTER

Phone: 323-993-7501

lalgbtcenter.org


Colorado

RAINBOW ALLEY

Phone: 303-831-0442

lgbtqcolorado.org


Florida

ALSO OUT YOUTH (SARASOTA)

Phone: 941-951-2576

alsoyouth.org


Georgia

Lost-n-Found Youth (ATLANTA)

Phone: 678-856-7824

lnfy.org


Indiana

INDIANA YOUTH GROUP (INDIANAPOLIS)

Phone: 317-541-8726

indianayouthgroup.org


Illinois

RAINBOW CAFE LGBTQ CENTER

Phone: 815-408-6963

rainbowcafe.org


Iowa

ONE IOWA

Phone: 515-883-2379

oneiowa.org


Maine

OUT MAINE

Phone: 800-530-6997

outmaine.org


Massachusetts

BAGLY (The Boston Alliance of LGBTQ+ Youth)

Phone: 617-227-4313

bagly.org

GREATER BOSTON PFLAG

Phone: 781-891-5966

gbpflag.org


Minnesota

OUTFRONT MINNESOTA

Phone: 612-822-0127

outfront.org


Missouri

STL QUEER+ SUPPORT HELPLINE

Phone: 314-380-7774

thesqsh.org


Michigan

RUTH ELLIS CENTER (HIGHLAND PARK)

Phone: 313-252-1950

ruthelliscenter.org


New Jersey

ESSEX COUNTY LGBT RAIN FOUNDATION

Phone: 732-707-RAIN

essexlgbthousing.org


New York

ALI FORNEY CENTER (MANHATTAN/BROOKLYN)

Phone: 212-206-0574

aliforneycenter.org


North Carolina

TIME OUT YOUTH CENTER

Phone: 704-344-8335

timeoutyouth.org


Oklahoma

THE Q SPACE

Phone: 405-259-2939

qspaceok.org


Oregon

THE LIVING ROOM YOUTH

Phone:  503-825-2535

thelivingroomyouth.org


Pennsylvania

THE ATTIC YOUTH CENTER

Phone: 215-545-4331

atticyouthcenter.org


Tennessee

OUT MEMPHIS

Phone: 901-278-6422

outmemphis.org


South Carolina

WE ARE FAMILY

Phone: 843-637-3697

waf.org


Texas

OUT YOUTH

Phone: 512-419-1233

outyouth.org

THRIVE YOUTH CENTER SAN ANTONIO

Phone: 210-212-2935

thriveyouthcenter.org


Utah

QUEERMEALS

queermeals.org


Vermont

OUTRIGHT VERMONT

Phone: 802-865-9677

outrightvt.org


Washington

LAMBERT HOUSE (SEATTLE)

Phone: 206-322-2515 

lamberthouse.org


Wisconsin

PROJECT Q (MILWAUKEE)

Phone: 262-409-8434

mkelgbt.org

R E C E N T  P O S T S