Drag Race Welcomes First Trans Member Of Pit Crew

Model Laith Ashley turns heads while breaking barriers by becoming the first trans member of RuPaul's Drag Race's Pit Crew.

Head shot of Laith Ashley, the first trans member of the Pit Crew

For long time RuPaul fans, the Pit Crew have been a well loved addition, adding some sex appeal to the reality competition. Model Laith Ashley made Drag Race history during the last episode by appearing in the Pit Crew lineup for the ‘Pants Down Bottoms Up’ mini challenge, the first trans model to do so.

During the challenge, the lucky queens had to select two hunky Pit Crew members to pull down their shorts in an attempt to match the underwear worn underneath. Who do we have to thank for making up these challenges, by the way?



While Ashley was a more than welcome addition to the crew, he’s had a successful modelling career prior to this appearance. Appearing in campaigns for Diesel amongst others, he’s also had the distinction of being photographed by the legendary Bruce Weber. He has also appeared on reality television before, on the series ‘Strut’, focusing on the first trans modelling agency.

Ashley posted on social media saying he wanted to send a thank you ‘for all the positive comments I’ve been getting for my appearance on ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’. I’m like, overwhelmed. Big thank you to RuPaul and World Of Wonder’ (the production company behind the show).



Drag Race and RuPaul himself have previously had a chequered relationship with the trans community. Despite having hosted contestants such as Peppermint, a trans woman, RuPaul had stated in an interview, he would ‘probably not’ have allowed her to appear if she had completed her transition. He said, “You can identify as a woman and say you’re transitioning, but it changes once you start changing your body. It takes on a different thing; it changes the whole concept of what we’re doing”. RuPaul made a public apology following a backlash to his statement.

Hopefully this is just the first Pit Crew appearance for Ashley and the beginning of a greater representation of the trans community.

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