Gillette's new ad features a father teaching his transgender son to shave for the first time
A new Gillette advertisement shows Toronto-based artist Samson Bonkeabantu Brown learning how to shave under the guidance of his father
Transgender man Samson Bonkebanty Brown crossed a major milestone after having his first shave, and Gillette did not miss the opportunity to celebrate it in its latest commercial. In an advertisement for the razor and shaving supplies manufacturer, Brown shared the experience with a man identified as his father, according to a CNN report.
The Toronto-based artist is seen in the video — which Gillette chose to share on Facebook and not YouTube — standing in front of a bathroom mirror as his father guides him through his first shave. "Now, don't be scared," the father is heard saying. "Shaving is about being confident."
"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 I want to become," Brown says in the video. "I always knew I was different. I didn't know that there was a term for the type of person that I was."
Many celebrated the ad as a meaningful gesture of inclusiveness to kick off the LGBT+ pride month coming up in June.
"Oh wow, Gillette, we are having all the feels here," tweeted LGBTQ family advocacy group PFLAG National. "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!"
Brown thanked Gillette in a Facebook post for the opportunity to celebrate the important milestone with his father. "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," Brown said.
The ad was touted by LGBT+ advocates as a rare positive light on a transgender man experiencing family support. "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," Brown wrote in his Facebook post.
In the video, Brown is heard saying he's glad to be able to shave now. According to CNN, many transgender men face financial and medical barriers while undergoing treatment to align their appearance with their supposed gender.
Brown also said in his Facebook post that he believes the commercial will give transgender people hope. "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," he wrote.