RuPaul’s Drag Race has welcomed its first trans male member of the show’s “Pit Crew”.
In the show’s most recent episode, eagle-eyed fans noticed that transgender model Laith Ashley had joined the Pit Crew, the team of shirtless hunks that assists the competing queens in various challenges.
Laith appeared during the episode’s “Pants Down Bottoms Up” mini-challenge, during which contestants asked the men to drop their pants until they found two of the men who were wearing a matching style of underwear.
In a post on Twitter after the episode aired, Laith thanked everyone who had sent him positive messages since his appearance.
“I just needed to say thank you for all the comments I’ve been getting for my appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’m overwhelmed. A big thank you to RuPaul and World of Wonder,” he said.
— Laith Ashley (@laith_ashley) May 18, 2018
RuPaul’s Drag Race has had a complicated history with the transgender community.
Earlier this year, RuPaul caused controversy after telling The Guardian that he would “probably not” allow a transgender woman to compete on the show, despite female-identifying drag queen Peppermint competing during the show’s ninth season.
“I understand and regret the hurt I have caused,” RuPaul said in response to the backlash.
“The trans community are heroes of our shared LGBTQ movement. You are my teachers.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race is available in Australia on streaming service Stan.