- Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, a transgender activist who is based in Toronto, recorded what appears to be his first time shaving.
- That recording has been repackaged into a powerful ad for Gillette.
- In the clip, his dad offers him advice and guidance.
- The video was released on Facebook, where it quickly circulated.
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Everyone commemorates life milestones differently. But Samsom Bonkeabantu Brown found a pretty poignant way to remember what appears to be his first time shaving.
Brown, a transgender activist who is based in Toronto, recorded his first shave in a new, powerful ad for Gillette entitled “First Shave, the story of Samson.”
“Growing up, I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I wanted to become,” Brown said. “I always knew I was different. I didn’t know there was a term for the type of person that I was.”
Gesturing mock strokes around his face, the activist shares the advice his father gave him: “South, south, north, north, east, west, never in a hurry.”
The video juxtaposes Brown sitting on a couch with moments of his first shave, which his father coaches him through.
“Now don’t be scared,” Brown’s father tells him. “Shaving is about being confident.”
Brown commented on the now-viral Facebook post, thanking Gilette for the opportunity.
“Thank you so much, Gillette, for allowing me to share such an important moment in a man’s life with my father,” he wrote. “I look forward to the great things you’re going to continue doing to encourage us all to be our best selves.”
Gillette, this is nothing short of incredible. https://t.co/jGS1962lh2
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) May 28, 2019
Wowowowow #Gillette ????????
I can’t tell u how happy this Ad makes me. https://t.co/m7osM1kUDp
— eve (@evenoadam_) May 29, 2019
This is quite the ad from Gillette. A father teaches his transgender son to shave for the first time. pic.twitter.com/GjMYibI6pL
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 28, 2019
Some responded to the transphobic backlash to the ad, saying that people need to “educate [themselves]” on why LGTBQ+ representation matters.
gillette’s latest ad is wonderful showing a dad teaching his transgender son how to shave. just know that if you have a problem, hating transgender people doesn't make them any less human. maybe you should read a few books and better educate yourselves.
— logan! (@minilopmom) May 29, 2019
the transphobes are really letting it all hang out with this Gillette ad ????????
— lil juul (@deadIizard) May 29, 2019
— ???? ᗪᗩGOGIᖇᒪ???? (@cn_hbi) May 29, 2019
In a statement provided to NBC News, a spokesperson for the brand said that they ran it because it reflects the brand’s relationship to gender and society.
“Gender conversations are happening all around us and we believe brands play a role in influencing culture and have a responsibility to use their voice to champion issues of great relevance to both the brand and our customers,” the spokesperson said.
- Read more:
- The US removed ‘sexual health’ language from a UN anti-rape resolution, the latest example of America’s shifting global priorities
- A high school introduced gender-neutral prom ‘Royal Knights’ after facing backlash for telling a transgender student he couldn’t run for prom king
- LGBTQ patients reveal their exhausting, infuriating, and surprisingly common struggles at the doctor’s office
- A transgender woman says she was repeatedly misgendered by an employee at a video-game store
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