Trans activist Samson Bonkeabantu Brown is featured in the latest Gillette ad, which shows him shaving for the first time with support with his father.
“I always knew I was different. I didn’t know that there was a term for the type of person that I was,” Brown says in the ad. “I went into my transition just wanting to be happy. I’m glad that I am at the point where I’m able to shave.”
His dad says in the clip, “Now don’t be scared, don’t be scared. Shaving is about being confident.”
“I’m at the point in my manhood where I’m actually happy,” Brown adds. “It’s not just myself transitioning, it’s everybody around me transitioning.”
“Whenever, wherever, however, it happens, your first shave is special,” the ad concludes.
Scroll up and watch the TV spot via the YouTube clip above.
“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 commented on Gillette’s video on Facebook.
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In a separate post, Brown explained why he wanted to shoot the ad with his “greatest” supporter, 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. With the help of Gillette, I was able to share an important milestone in every man’s life with my father,” Brown wrote. “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 brothers, sisters, and siblings who exist outside the binary are not always as fortunate.”
He continued: “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,” he concluded. “I love you greatly.”
The video has received mixed reactions from consumers with some vowing to boycott Gillette, as they don’t agree that the ad aligns with the company’s tagline, “the best a man can get.”
“We anticipated there would be some negative response to this video, however we’re thrilled with the overwhelmingly positive responses we’ve seen, from both consumers as well as organizations,” the statement said. “As a brand committed to helping men look, feel and act their best, it’s important to us to embrace inclusivity in how we portray masculinity. This is especially true for Samson and others in the trans community, which is why we created ‘First Shave.’”