This Stunning Google Gender Transition Ad Sets A Benchmark For How Companies Should Join This Important Conversation
Thanks to high-profile celebrities bravely transitioning in the public spotlight, transgender issues are no longer a taboo topic to be whispered about; they are at the forefront of our collective discourse. There is no company who supports having this conversation more than Google, who made a brilliant ad for Google My Business focusing on gender transition. By highlighting the story's protagonist, a transgender man named Jake, and the small business that played a big part in his transition, City Gym in Kansas City, Missouri, Google's contribution to the transgender conversation is all at once sincere, authentic, and powerful. Other companies, take note, because this is how you should all be joining the conversation.
In conjunction with Pride Month, Google has created an ad that's yet another reflection of its steadfast advocacy of LGBT rights. The spot tells the story of Jake, who was assigned female at birth, and shows his transition process, which he documented on YouTube, a Google-owned company.
The ad begins with Jake telling viewers a little bit about himself, about his childhood, his love of fishing, and how he never felt like himself in the body he was born in.
Growing up, I was never comfortable with the way I looked when I looked in the mirror. I would want to see something masculine. I would want to be able to take off my shirt one day and have all these muscles.
Then one day Jake decided to start the transition process, which he documented over the course of more than a year in a series of YouTube videos.
They start with Jake as his former self, gradually becoming the man he always wanted to be.
After getting his breasts surgically removed, he was ready to build the muscular body he always dreamed of. That's when City Gym is seamlessly and brilliantly introduced into the ad.
The ad introduces Hailee Bland-Walsh, the owner of City Gym in Kansas City, Missouri, talking about her experience working and training with Jake, who she says she's known for more than a year. The story then shifts its focus from one transgender man to several, who have all been training at City Gym. Bland-Walsh says in the video:
It was never an intention to create a space specific for any group, but what a testament it is to create a space where any group feels comfortable.
While most gyms highlight their equipment, classes, and trainers, City Gym chose to focus on its acceptance of all people and its commitment to helping them get fit.
These guys are physically getting stronger, but the real change is what's happening inside.
City Gym was born with the belief that a gym should be more than a place to work out; it should be a place to belong.
By presenting itself as a safe place for transgender individuals, City Gym really makes itself stand out as a small business. As for Google My Business, the ad only ever mentions the service at the very end of the video, proving that the company is willing to take a backseat in order to have a much-more important conversation. And by telling Jake and City Gym's story, Google is truly leading the pack in its celebration and incorporation of the LGBT community.
Watch the ad below.
Images: Google+ Your Business/YouTube