Trans model Laith Ashley ‘banned from TikTok Live’ over supposed ‘sexual activity’

Trans actor and model Laith Ashley has claimed he was banned from going live of TikTok for ‘promoting sexual activity’ during a live session where he was simply “sitting down and talking” with followers.

In a post yesterday (24 March), Ashley shared a screenshot which appeared to show the app notifying him that he will no longer be able to go live because he was promoting “sexual activity and services”. 

The RuPaul’s Drag Race pit crew member and star of Taylor Swift’s “Lavender Haze” music video said he was banned in the middle of a live video, titled “That trans guy you might know”, in which he was simply talking to his followers.

“This is why I don’t post on here, unless I’m talking about my dog. We have people on here spewing hatred, violence, bigotry, saying things about marginalised groups, the nastiest, most degrading, most disgusting things you can think of, and they get away with it,” Ashley claimed in a post on the app.

“The moment I step on here and just talk? You get kicked off. You can’t go live any more, that was sexual activity. What sexual activity? I’m sitting here,” he said.

@laith_ashley

I guess sitting down and talking is considered seggsual activity when you’re trans

♬ original sound – Laith Ashley

“I guess sitting down and talking is considered ‘seggsual’ activity when you’re trans,” he wrote in the video’s caption, adding: “F these apps.”

PinkNews has approached TikTok for comment.

On Instagram, Laith Ashley provided further context on what he was discussing in his video.

“I was talking about the [actors’] strike last year, then I was talking about how a lot of LGBT content creators are unable to make a living creating content because brands are no longer hiring us for deals.

“Our identities have now been politicised… you’ve seen them limiting people if their content is too political, well now my transness is political. So, me being trans, me posting about me being who I am, is political.”

In a follow-up post, Ashley described being “upset” about the “silencing” of trans people in general.

“It’s bigger than social media. It’s not just TikTok, it’s not Meta, Instagram, whatever. I don’t give a f**k about that,” he said. “It’s the silencing and it’s happening at every level. It’s the erasure. It’s the victimising folks, then blaming them for their own oppression. That’s what’s bothering me. That’s what’s making me angry.”

Ashley received an outpouring of support from fans who urged TikTok to reverse the ban.

“TikTok’s policing on our community is deplorable, to say the least,” wrote Drag Race star Kerri Colby. Your LIVEs are always full of love.”

Ashley later said his appeal against the ban had been rejected by the TikTok.

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