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They Will See You: LGBTQ+ Visibility in Advertising

Imagine living in a world where your story isn’t being told. Never seeing yourself reflected in the people on TV as they navigate life and share their struggles. Worse yet, never seeing you or your family represented in commercials as people practice daily routines, such as washing their hands with soap or starting a load of laundry. It could feel as if you didn’t exist, at least not in the televised version of the world being depicted. This has been the reality for people in the LGBTQ+ community for decades. Only in the last few years have there been steps towards LGBTQ+ representation in advertising, but there is still work to be done. That’s why P&G is committed to starting this conversation, no matter how difficult.

In 2019, P&G ran a commercial for Gillette that featured a transgender man learning to shave from his father. It was a groundbreaking depiction of a universal right-of-passage, and many LGBTQ+ activists applauded the ad. Others expressed concern about brands jumping on the bandwagon inauthentically. The questions they asked encouraged P&G to examine their intentions and ensure that they didn’t view this advertisement as a one-time opportunity to represent the experiences of transgender men. It’s not always easy to have these conversations in a corporate environment, but P&G knows that visibility and proper representation matters. In the short film, “They Will See You,” we explore the history of LGBTQ+ advertising and meet the inspirational people whose lives have been impacted by seeing their stories represented on screen.

This Great Big Story is by P&G.

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