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Following on from their groundbreaking advert urging men to do better, Gillette has made history again with a shaving ad that features a transgender man. The video stars activist Samson Bonkeabantu Brown and shows his dad walking him through the rite of passage.
"I always knew I was different. I didn't know that there was a term for the type of person that I was," Says Brown 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."
The video cuts to Brown and his real-life father in front of the bathroom mirror while his dad reassuringly walks him through the process. Brown recites his dad's instructions: "South, South, North, North, East, West. Never in a hurry."
His dad, telling him that he's doing an OK job, says: "Now don't be scared, don't be scared. Shaving is about being confident."
"Whenever, wherever, however, it happens, your first shave is special," the ad concludes, with the company's tagline, "the best a man can get."
The ad is a huge step forward in recognising that there isn't just one type of man or masculinity, and it's an important move in making trans men feel included.
Commenting on Gillette's video on Facebook, Brown said: "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"
Wow Gillette released an advert with a black trans man being taught how to shave by his father. This is so beautiful. My heart. pic.twitter.com/RMG00ldbZt- Tanya Compas (@TanyaCompas) May 26, 2019
On his own post, Brown said: "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."
He adds: "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."
The ad has inspired a massively positive reception, with commenters praising Gillette for the inclusion.
Trans advocacy group Mermaids, said: "After an unsettling day, to see some of our biggest brands and companies standing beside transgender people is really empowering.
"@Gillette could sell razors a hundred different ways but this is moving and feels really meaningful."
Trans people have also taken to Twitter to thank the company for making them feel seen.
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