Heartwarming Gillette AD Shows Father Teaching His Transgender Son How to Shave for the First Time
“Growing up, I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I wanted to become, and I’m still trying to figure out what kind of man that I want to become.” That quote is how we are introduced to Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, a Toronto-based artist, speaking about his first experience shaving with his father post-transition.
Brown’s story was part of an ad from the shaving company Gillette, titled “First Shave, the story of Samson.” Since its release on Thursday, the ad has reached over 1 million views. It’s extremely touching, and I especially loved seeing this relationship between a Black man and his father. The joy in both their faces to be able to share this experience was truly masterful.
This is another step in Gillette’s campaign that was released in January in an attempt to touch on and tackle toxic masculinity,. In this world of male-targeted branding, it’s important to see companies embrace the inclusive idea of what manhood can be and looks like. “We believe in the best in men. To say the right thing, to act the right way,” a narrator says over clips. “The boys watching today will be the men of tomorrow.”
Through Brown, we see the story of a young man finding new ways to be happy and joyful in his masculinity by getting to take this symbolic rite of passage.
“I always knew I was different. I didn’t know there was a term for the type of person that I was. I went into my transition just wanting to be happy. I’m glad I’m at the point where I’m able to shave.”
In a Facebook post written after the video’s release, Brown wrote that he was overwhelmed by the positive response.
“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!
With Father’s Day right around the corner, this was a beautiful reminder of the various kinds of father/son relationships that exist in this world, and I’m glad that Gillette did this. While we should always have a healthy skepticism of companies using LGBTQ+ stories to market their products, and just the general “pride capitalism” that occurs during Pride Month, it also matters that these stories are being seen.
A young trans man can look at Brown’s story and see a man who has been accepted by the people who love him, and that it doesn’t just have stories of tragedy to look up to. It’s a good way to pregame for Pride month, because if this year has taught us anything, it’ll be an experience.
(via The Hill, image: Screengrab)
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