Just in time for June’s Gay Pride celebrations around the world; Gillette, once the world’s largest razor company, released an ad giving new visibility to transgender men.
In the ad, Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, a Toronto-based artist, explains the impact of his transgender identity on his happiness. In the ad, he says, “Growing up, I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I wanted to become...I always knew I was different. I didn't know that there was a term for the type of person that I was."
In the commercial, Brown then receives his first shaving lesson from his father, who looks on as he holds the razor up to his face, saying, "Now, don't be scared. Shaving is about being confident."
As Brown shaves his face, his father encourages him, saying, “You’re doing fine, you are doing fine.”
At the end of the commercial, which Gillette shared on its Facebook page, Brown says, “I’m at the point in my manhood where I’m actually happy. It’s not just myself transitioning, it’s everyone around me transitioning.”
The tagline of the campaign is "'Whenever, wherever, however it happens -- your first shave is special.”
After the ad was posted to Facebook, Brown left a comment thanking Gillette for allowing him to take part in such a monumental occasion.
“Thank you so much Gillette for allowing me to share such an important moment in a man's life with my father. I look forward to the great things you're going to continue doing to encourage us all to be our best selves. Love y'all greatly! #MyBestSelf,” Brown wrote.
In a separate Facebook post, Brown explained why it’s important to show positive images of transgender people to promote more understanding and acceptance.
Brown posted, "I'm keenly aware of how blessed I am to be able to exist in this world being supported by my family in ways, that all too often, many of my trans brothers, sisters, and siblings who exist outside the binary, are not always as fortunate."
Once the ad went viral, Gillette was celebrated for giving a platform to transgender men.
On Twitter, LGBTQ family advocacy group PFLAG National tweeted, "Oh wow, Gillette, we are having all the feels here. As the first and largest organization for parents of #LGBTQ people, we thank you for seeing our #trans kids...and for honoring their affirming #dads!"
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