Trans man's joy as he builds a new body
US A new ad for shows the uplifting, emotional path of a tran man who is working hard at the gym to build a new body. The touching spot, which runs for over two minutes, was produced in honor of Pride Month and appears to be the first ad from a big company that puts the process of gender transition front and center.
Hailee Bland Walsh, the owner of City Gym in Kansas City, believes her gym “should be more than a place to workout. It should be a place to belong."
The spot tells the story of a transgender man named Jake, who flips through pictures of the smiling little girl he used to be and talks of a childhood uncomfortable in his own skin. In the ad, which features Kansas City's City Gym, Jake is among many other transgender men who bonded during their transition as they worked to build the muscles that they always wanted.
Hailee Bland Walsh, the owner of City Gym, says in the spot that gyms “should be more than a place to workout. It should be a place to belong." Her gym hosts an exercise group for transgender men who are just adapting to their transformation.
Produced by San Francisco-based ad agency Venables Bell & Partners, the ad is promoting Google's suite of small business tools, Google My Business.
American advertisers have arguably made much progress towards genuinely tapping into the experiences of gays and lesbians in the last couple years. But brands are less surefooted when it comes to spotlighting transgender people.
Two weeks ago, Caitlyn Jenner's Internet-smashing Vanity Fair dominated the public conversation. Yet brands stayed conspicuously silent on the subject, and Jenner has yet to line up any product endorsements or corporate sponsors.
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