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Symone, Laith Ashley & Arisce Wanzer Fight For Trans Representation

Symone, Laith Ashley & Arisce Wanzer Fight For Trans Representation

Symone; Laith Ashley; Arisce Wanzer

The drag and transgender stars are waving their flags at the Human Rights Campaign Dinner.


LGBTQ+ representation is more crucial now than ever.

The Human Rights Campaign Dinner in Los Angeles had every color of the rainbow showcased as the fight for equality continues amidst a slew of anti-LGBTQ+ bills being introduced in the United States.

"Events like these are super important because it lets people know around the world that there's still a community. There are still people fighting. We're not just sitting by. It's important to be active, visible, and vocal about what's going on," Symone tells PRIDE.

With today being Transgender Day of Visibility, the entire LGBTQ+ community is coming together through events like HRC to uplift trans voices.

"We need to be more vocal. If we stay silent, the opposing side is going to win, even if they're wrong with their misinformation. We have to combat that with the correct information, show that we're here, [and] show that we're present. There's no humanity. They're trying to strip away our humanity and I'm not here for it. I'm not letting it happen," Laith Ashley tells PRIDE.

Transgender model Laith Ashley has used his platform to unite with his LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters to bring some much-needed love and positivity to the mainstream media.

"I feel at home around people who are like-minded. I also don't feel alone. All these people are fighting for the same thing I'm fighting for. We're coming together for the same cause and it all means so much. I need the people that I love to pick me up and that's what I love about our community," Ashley says.

Ashley's best friend and ex Arisce Wanzer is also a transgender model who believes attending events dedicated to representing the queer experience is essential during these challenging times.

"I had to come out while it's still legal. They're not allowing us to do anything. The more rights we allow them to take from us, the more they're going to push to take away. Everyone's on the chopping block. This isn't just about trans rights. It's about all of our rights. It's about human rights," Wanzer tells PRIDE.

As a well-known model with a stacked reality TV résumé, Wanzer is humbled that her visibility inspires others to come to terms with their own sexualities and genders.

"You get all these DM's from kids, from teens, from older people that are like 'you gave me the courage to come out.' Me? Me getting cussed out on my ex on TV? Again?! I feel like that's a theme for me, but it is humbling. Representation matters. I wish I could have seen any trans people that weren't being made fun of on TV when I was younger. I would just know that this was all possible. It clearly is... I'm right here!"

To see the full PRIDE interviews with Symone, Laith Ashley, and Arisce Wanzer, check out the video below.

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