Gillette’s new ad, featuring a transgender man, seen as groundbreaking

As Samson Brown, a young black man, looks tentatively in the mirror, his father guides him as he drags a razor up the length of his neck for the first time. Brown, who was assigned female at birth, tells the camera he is at the point in his transition where he can begin shaving — and he’s at the point in his manhood where he’s finally happy.

“Now, don’t be scared,” his father tells him. “Shaving is about being confident.”

The short film by Gillette, in capturing both a universal rite of passage and a father’s loving acceptance of his son’s identity, has been hailed as groundbreaking by
LGBTQ rights organizations and is the latest in a series of provocative ads that have been rolled out by the razor company since the start of the year.