Trans man ad brings a tear to the eye

In one of those moments that make you go fuzzy as your eyes water, the razor company Gillette have made a beautiful film from about a trans man’s first shave.

Samson Bonkeabantu Brown is seen taking a razor to his face hair for the first time, with his father giving loving support and advice by his side.

“Growing up I was always trying to figure out what kind of man I want to become”, Samson says at the start of the short video.

“And I’m still trying to figure out what kind that I want to become”

loving support

“Now don’t be scared, don’t be scared, shaving is about being confident”, his father says, supportively standing by his son’s side as the first shave begins.

And you feel the love and support as he continues, “oh you are doin’ fine. You are do-in fine!”.

The ad is part of Gillette’s “My Best Self” campaign.

It bravely follows an advert released at the start of this year which tried to tackle toxic masculinity. It urged men to change and to stop others from behaving badly, but it received more criticism than praise online, and thousands of threats never to buy Gillette products again.

The new advert has been widely praised in the trans community.

a lower profile

Last month a rival razor company featured a trans man in one of their adverts, without making a big deal of it.

The ad for Harry’s razors gave many reasons why you may want to shave, or not. Each reason was accompanied by a host clip of a man making a choice.

Two thirds of the way through their advert, and without fanfare, a man took up a razor and a voice-over said “You can shave to feel like you”.

And the only clue was the scars from top surgery. Many people would miss them. Most trans people didn’t.


In contrast, the Gillette advert is full-on, and Samson hopes it will make a difference.

“This moment overwhelmed me during filming and again today seeing the ad since it’s been launched”, he said online.

“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”.

Gillette say the short video will be show at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival in Toronto, where Samson lives. And they say they will be giving money and other support to an LGBT community space in the city.


Media Credits: Samson shaving pic, Gillette. Samson shaving video, Gillette embed. Harry’s advert, Harrys embed.


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