“Don’t be scared,” a man tells his transgender son in an emotional new Gillette ad. “Shaving is about being confident.”
The ad, which has been viewed more than one million times on Facebook since it was first shared on Thursday, purports to show Samson Bonkeabantu Brown’s “first shave.” The Toronto-based artist and activist is seen with a razor in his hand and shaving cream on his face as his father stands nearby, gently encouraging him.
“Ah, you’re doing fine,” his father says. “You are doing fine.”
As Brown explains in the clip, his first shave marked a particularly meaningful milestone in his transition journey.
“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 that I want to become,” Brown says in the ad. “I always knew I was different. I didn’t know that there was a term for the type of person that I was.”
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As the Gillette ad went viral, Brown explained in a Facebook post why it had been important to him to include his dad in the spot.
“[My father] has been one of my greatest supporters throughout my transition, encouraging me to be confident and live authentically as my best self,” Brown wrote on Saturday.
He said he hoped his story would uplift others in the transgender and non-binary community.
“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 said. “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.”