Boston, MA– Gillette recently released a commercial in support of the LGBTQ community. The advertisement shows a father teaching his transgender son how to shave for the first time. Toronto-based artist Samson Bonkeabantu Brown, a trans teenager, starred in the commercial with his father. Brown hopes his story will give hope to the community.

Gillette is a Boston-based shaving supply company initially founded in 1904 by King Camp Gillette. Recently, Gillette launched its #MyBestSelf campaign, with a focus on the LGBTQ community. The video released over the past week focuses on a transgender boy shaving for the first time, with the guidance of his supportive father. The tagline reads: “Whatever, wherever, however it happens – your first shave is special.”

First Shave, the story of Samson | #MyBestSelf

Whenever, wherever, however it happens – your first shave is special.

Posted by Gillette on Thursday, May 23, 2019

As expected, mixed reactions from viewers hit our social media world. Gillette released a statement to People magazine, saying, “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.”

People highlighted some negative as well as positive reactions to the campaign's message, including:

  • The Women’s March Group posted on Twitter: “@Gillette leading again on healthy masculinity.”
  • PFLAG National posted on Twitter: “Oh wow, @Gillette, we are having all the feels here. As the first and largest organization for parents of #LGBTQ people we thank you for seeing our #trans kids … and for honoring their affirming #dads!” On the opposite side of the spectrum comes negative commentary. Some fled to social media to say the following:
  • One Twitter user stated: “Bye bye Gillette.”
  • On social media, a user stated: “As I THROW MY Gillette razor into the trash…”

But a Redditor on the Boston subreddit said what everyone should be thinking in response to this commercial. u/drtywater said, “First who cares? They are a private company free to do any ads. Trying to broaden their audience is a smart prudent move.” Drtywater is right: who cares? I think it’s quality marketing. A man’s got to shave, after all. The ad is also timely, since Gay Pride Month is coming up. Pride parades and celebrations are scheduled throughout June. Happy early Gay Pride!