With Pride and #PrideMonth literally around the corner, I have come to realize that at thirty five years old, I’ve got some pretty incredible things to be proud of in my life. Being a gay man in 2019 may seem to some as glamorous, but if I’m being perfectly honest, the world still has a lot of growing up to do. I get a bit more into detail in my recent post about #InsideOut19, which funny enough was the press conference that I attended which quite literally brought me to tears.
Now I have to be blunt. Like most major holidays or events throughout the year, brands latch on to Pride for a quick buck. You’ll see anything from potato chips to dishes covered in rainbows in hopes that they will appeal to the Pride goer, lover, and supporter. And while I’m all for brands and showing support to our community, do these same brands really support us all year long?
We’ve worked with Gillette and Gillette Venus over the years (I still vividly remember getting excited about my first collaboration with them YEARS ago) and they have been LGBT allies for a long time. But the press conference I mentioned above really helped to show me that they took this seriously. Understanding that the day and age of a muscly, bruiting man who has a beautiful woman hanging off him while he shaves as a spokesperson are long gone, the new #MyBestSelf campaign is revolutionizing the idea of gender identity. The new national campaign which launched last week truly shows the commitment that these brands have to representing masculinity and manhood in 2019. Take a look to see what I mean:
Capturing the moment when Toronto-native and trans advocate Samson Brown first used a razor to shave himself, all under the watchful and caring guidance of his father – Samson’s story recognizes that having the confidence to express one’s true, authentic self can be a journey – one that Gillette fully supports.
Beyond the launch of the short film, both Gillette and Gillette Venus are taking action to demonstrate their values of respect and inclusivity for everyone. As they continue the conversation around First Shave and what it means for people to express #MyBestSelf, the brand is partnering with Toronto-based charity and City agency The 519 to support its trans-inclusive programs. With support from Gillette, they will continue to provide ongoing resources and support to help inspire Canadians of all parts of the gender spectrum to have the confidence to express their true authentic voices, so we can all be our best selves every day.
In light of the current climate around the world when it comes to equality and so much more, this is something that really inspired me and helped me realize that brands can do more than sell things to us. They can, with their reach and with their messages like this one, help to make the world a little better. While I have no doubt that the campaign has been met with negativity (as much does for us in the LGBT community), it is time to focus on the importance of the message itself. The world is changing, and if we do not change alongside it, we will be left behind.
“My dad always told me that whatever I do, I should be the best at it; and I wanted to be a part of this campaign because Gillette is encouraging everyone to be their best, just like my dad for me. My dad’s encouragement came from a place of love and gave me the confidence to express my true authentic self.” – Samson Brown, Artist and trans advocate
By watching this video you are helping to open your eyes to the work being done that we all need to support. I encourage you to share the above video onto your Instagram stories or tag your friends in the comments. I ask you to share the same video below onto your Facebook wall and use the #MyBestSelf hashtag. A message this strong, this moving, and this important deserves to be heard both today and every single day.
To join in on this, and so many important conversations being made by brands that support and encourage inclusivity, make sure to follow @Gillette and @GilletteVenus on social media. Engage with the #MyBestSelf hashtag and help the world be a little bit more loving and accepting by sharing your thoughts.
For more behind the scenes of this and other amazing brands we are working with around the world, make sure to follow along with the #DoTheDaniel Instagram account. We would love to have you join on our adventures!
Photos: Inside Out, Gillette, Gillette Venus, Daniel Reyes & all Social Media accounts listed
Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year
Mobile photos were taken with my Samsung Canada Galaxy S10+ on the Rogers network