It’s about to be Pride season, the time of year when brands cash in on “diversity” and emblazon a bunch of crap with the rainbow flag.
Every once in a while, however, a brand does something that actually moves the LGBTQ community forward. Take the latest ad from Gillette, which was posted on Thursday and which features a young trans teen from Canada by the name of Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, shaving for the first time.
Try to watch this without tearing up.
The ad is effective not only because of its writing, which ignores clichés, but because the producers actually cast a trans person to play a trans role. Here’s how Brown described the experience in a public Facebook post.
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.
Gillette’s ad is part of a larger marketing campaign addressing the various faces of masculinity. Earlier in 2019, the company released an ad addressing toxic masculinity that actually polled well with viewers.
Sometimes — extremely rarely — brands get it right.