By Kevin Hardy
Just two years after he started taking testosterone, trans male model Laith Ashley has found happiness and success on the runway.
The 26-year-old has modelled in New York Fashion Week, appeared in a campaign for New York department store Barney’s and has an Instagram following of almost 60,000 people.
“When I look in the mirror, I am satisfied with my image. It is how I want to present myself to the world. This is me,” he told the Daily Mail.
Thank you @nelsonncastillo for the beautiful photos! By @nelsonncastillo #REPOST Goodnight. The incredible and courageous @laith_ashley Special thanks @poisonivycooper #laithashley#mycalvins#calvinklein#transman#ftm#transmodel#latino#hispanic#dominican#brave#courage#fit#sexy#loveisgenderless#body#abs#muscles#transisbeautiful#blackandwhite#portrait#nelsonncastillo#newyorkcity#ny#bronxlife @transmodelsnyc #model #malemodel @calvinklein @calvinkleinbrasil @gq #gq
Ever since he was five years old, Laith knew he had what he called a “misalignment” between his body and mind.
He told the Daily Mail he came out as a gay female to his parents at 17, but he was still unsure who he was. He didn’t transition until years later.
Laith, who underwent surgery in 2015, said: “Initially, there was a lot of fear and confusion. It actually took me six years from the moment I came out as Trans to finally begin my medical transition.
“Once I got over that fear, there was no stopping me. Now I am the most comfortable I have ever been.”
Laith said he’s very passionate about being an activist for the LGBTI community.
“I know many people look up to me, because I may fit the image they wish to achieve,” he said.
“This is something I find incredibly humbling, but I also want them to know that their life journey is their own. People should be true to themselves. They don’t have to fit into a box.”