A new deodorant commercial released this week perfectly captures the anxiety that some transgender people face while having to navigate public restrooms.
The latest commercial in the Secret #Stress Test ad campaign features a young transgender person working up the courage to leave the bathroom stall and face other women in a public restroom. The tagline reads, “Dana finds courage to show there’s no wrong way to be a woman.”
The ad comes on the heels of a number of anti-transgender bathroom bills in different states across America, like North Carolina’s House Bill 2. The legislation led to national conversation about the barriers trans people come across while occupying gendered spaces on a daily basis.
“People who don’t fit into traditional molds have a hard enough time feeling comfortable in their own skin, but what disappoints me is how hard we have to work to make OTHER people comfortable with us, that just shouldn’t be the case,” Karis Wilde, who is featured in the commercial, told The Huffington Post. “Empathy is the best medicine for ignorance and intolerance and I’m proud of this spot because it personalizes our struggle by putting a human face on these challenges. Spreading that message has been a part of my daily life, seeing it out there being appreciated by a wider audience is truly humbling, I hope it connects with people and brings awareness and compassion.”
Openly transgender people have recently made a number of high-visibility appearances in major ad campaigns, including trans model Arisce Wanzer who, this week, appears on the cover of Spiegel Catalog.
We hope to see more authentic portrayals of queer experience in advertising like this in the future.