Trans model ‘banned from TikTok Live’ over supposed ‘sexual activity’-TGN

Update, 26 March: the ban on Laith Ashley’s TikTok LIVE account has been removed.

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”, 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.

“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.”

Taylor Swift Laith Ashley
Laith Ashley stars in Taylor Swift’s “Lavender Haze” music video (Taylor Swift/YouTube)

TikTok has previously stressed that it is committed to amplifying LGBTQ+ content creators on the app to help them reach new audiences.

The app has also said that it is always looking for ways to better its policies and strategies in terms of content moderation.

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.”

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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