Amazing advert tells fathers to accept their transgender children
A heartwarming advert has shown how wonderful it is when parents accept their transgender children.
The ad, created to get customers in Thailand to buy Unilever’s Sunsilk shampoo, is based on the true story of Rock Kwanlada, the first runner-up in last year’s Miss Tiffany Universe, a Thai trans beauty contest.
It attracted 37 million views in the country in its first two months after going live, according to the company, placing it in the same bracket of popularity as “Now & Then,” an adorable ad about a lesbian couple in Las Vegas.
The Thai ad has now been released to a global audience, with viewers able to watch on with tears in their eyes (unless that’s just us) as the main character, played by Kwanlada, learns to love herself as she grows.
It starts by telling its audience that trans people “have come a long way in Thai society, but stereotypes are still dominant and family acceptance is still a major barrier.”
Written from the point of view of the protagonist’s hair, the narration opens by telling viewers: “They say boys can’t grow me long.
“But what if that boy doesn’t want to be a boy?”
The child’s father tells her to stand up to other kids who bully her, berating her for ‘allowing’ them to tease her. “Are you a man or what?” he chides.
In high school, she is able to act more like herself – but is still forced to have her hair cut. She cries as it falls to the floor.
When her friends present her with a wig, a new set of possibilities open up – until her dad finds the wig and shows it to her.
“Cutting me short would have made your father happy,” the narrator says, “but look what you’ve done. Just the opposite.
“Cut me, I’m just hair,” it continues, as the main character enters a beauty competition.
The ad shows her approaching her dad after the contest, trophy in hand, before flicking to him watching a video of her accepting the award.
“I’ve never asked my father how it feels to have a son like me,” she says. “I’ve been hiding – pretending. I just hope that someday he will know, and accept me for who I am.”
Her father smiles and tells her: “Congratulations.”
He adds: “It’s okay. No matter what, you’re my kid.”
Replying to a friend who sent him a message saying “Is this your boy?” with a video of his daughter’s victory speech, the dad writes: “Isn’t she beautiful?”
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And this emotional ending is made even more tearjerking when it is revealed that Kwanlada still lives with her father.
Thailand is more accepting than many when it comes to trans people – it is, for instance, making moves to make a better prison system for trans individuals.
But, like most if not all nations, transphobia is still prevalent, both officially – with trans women who are yet to receive gender confirmation surgery reportedly being forced to serve in the military – and on an interpersonal level, as shown by this ad.
Watch the wonderful advert here: