The teaser is a montage of different visuals Swift intends to release for her new album. In the brief clip, Ashley is shown sleeping face down on a bed next to Swift as her hand brushes a colorful glimmer of light across his bare back. The actor and model shared the trailer to his Instagram stories and wrote, “You are magic, thank you for letting me play a small part in your story.”
It’s a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, but that didn’t stop fans from sharing their thoughts on social media. There was a lot of enthusiasm online to see a trans actor portray Swift’s love interest.
“Taylor’s love interest in one of the videos is transgender actor/model Laith Ashley and I’m crying,” wrote one Swiftie on Twitter.
“People discovering Laith Ashley because of Taylor’s music video is so cool,” wrote another social media user. “Trans guys definitely deserve more representation. Didn’t think I could love Taylor more but here we are.”
“Most of the trans men I know are Swifties. It’s incredible to see [Ashley] as part of the Midnights music videos, and appearing to be a character of Taylor’s desire no less,” wrote Alex Schmider, the director of trans representation for GLAAD. “A big moment for representation in many ways.”
It’s not clear which music video Ashley will be featured on, but he will co-star amongst other notable names such as Jack Antonoff, Mike Birbiglia, Laura Dern, John Early, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, HAIM, Pat McGrath, and Dita Von Teese.
We’re excited to watch. Consider us #TeamLailor.