In the lead up to Pride month, Gillette has released a new ad featuring a trans man and his father.
The ad features Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, a young Canadian trans man who says, “Growing up I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I want to become and I’m still trying to figure out what kind that I want to become.”
His father watches as he shaves for the first time, saying, “Now don’t be scared. Shaving is about being confident. You are doing fine.”
At the end of the ad, Brown says, “It’s not just myself transitioning. It’s everyone around me transitioning.”
The ad’s tagline, released as part of its just unveiled #MyBestSelf campaign, says, “Whenever, wherever, however it happens – your first shave is special.”
In a public Facebook post, Brown wrote:
I shot this ad for Gillette and wanted to include my father, who has been one of my greatest supporters throughout my transition, encouraging me to be confident and live authentically as my best self.
With the help of Gillette, I was able to share an important milestone in every man’s life with my father.
This moment overwhelmed me during filming and again today seeing the ad since it’s been launched. 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 brother, sisters, and siblings who exist outside the binary are not always as fortunate.
I am confident that this ad will encourage many of my trans siblings and fill them with the knowledge that our existence in this world can be filled with the love and support we deserve.
Be good to yourselves. Love yourselves. And know that when you greet the world with love, it can and will love you back, often in the places you least expect.
I love you greatly.
Here’s the advertisement:
In January of this year, Gillette released a commercial criticizing toxic masculinity, bullying and sexism while challenging the company’s own iconic slogan, “The best a man can get” by asking, “Is it?”
Former NFL player and Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor Terry Crews, a sexual assault survivor, was included in the ad. “Men need to hold other men accountable,” he said. The ad ended on this note: “The boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”
Predictably, the ad triggered a backlash from conservative pundits, but overall the ad polled well with audiences.