Moving ad asks: can a transphobic man and a trans woman become friends?
Can a transphobic man and a trans woman become friends?
According to a new advert by Heineken, it’s certainly possible.
The ad brings together pairs of people on the opposite sides of important issues: climate change, feminism – and transgender rights.
Before they meet, trans woman Ayla Holdom tells the camera: “It’s absolutely critical that trans people have their own voice.”
In contrast, the man says: “You can’t, you know…you’re a man: be a man, or you’re a female: be a female.”
The two meet, and are told to build chairs, then a bar, and then to get drinks out.
As they work together to complete these tasks, they chat.
He admits that it’s “frustrating” to be him, and that he has “ups and downs,” while she says she’s “lucky,” but has been “attacked” and “misunderstood” in the past.
It emerges during their conversation that she has served in the military, to which he says: “If you’re ex-military, I’m very proud of you already.”
At this point, they’ve bonded with each other – but then the key moment comes.
In front of each other, they have their opinions broadcast on a big screen.
Her face falls as she watches him say: “Transgender – it is very odd. We’re not set up to understand or see things like that.”
And he crosses his arms in shock as she says: “I am a daughter, a wife. I am transgender.”
The pairs are then given the choice to either leave or sit down at the bar they’ve constructed together and talk through their differences over a couple of beers.
In a heart-stopping moment, the man leaves – but then returns seconds later, remarking: “I’m only joking.”
“You had me for a second then,” she tells him, laughing.
He subsequently opens up to her, admitting: “I’ve been brought up in a way where everything is black and white, but life isn’t black and white.”
“Yeah,” she says. “I’m just me.”
The conversation ends as the pair continue their journey towards friendship, with the man telling her: “I’ll give you my mobile number and you give me yours, and we’ll keep in touch.”
In a dramatic about-face from where he started, he then jokes: “I’d have to tell my girlfriend that I’ll be texting another girl.
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“She might be a bit upset with that, but I’ll have to get around that one.
“She’ll have to lump it.”
The woman agrees, saying: “I will need to tell my girl.”
Watch the full video below:
The trans woman featured in the ad, Ayla Holdom, is a helicopter pilot who served alongside Prince William as an RAF Search and Rescue pilot.
She was invited to the Prince’s wedding to the Duchess of Cambridge in 2011.