Screengrab via Secret Deodorant/YouTube

This poignant deodorant ad puts a human face to the trans bathroom debate

It's simple and heart-tugging.


Jessica Machado


Published Oct 28, 2016   Updated May 25, 2021, 4:58 pm CDT

Secret, the lady deodorant brand of your high school locker room, has been pretty woke with its ads lately. First, there was the “Raise #StressTest” commercial, where a young woman stands in front of the bathroom mirror at work, giving herself a pep talk to ask for a raise. However, with its “super sick” compliment and model-in-glasses-equals-everywoman gimmick, that one seemed like it was trying too hard. 

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However, the brand’s latest ad is pretty emotive and spot-on. In it, a trans or genderqueer woman waits in a stall of a public bathroom, debating whether to come out while a bunch of cis women gab away at the sink. When she eventually walks out, the tagline reads, “Dana finds the courage to show there’s no wrong way to be a woman.” No over-acting here; the 30-second clip is damn poignant.

Queer actress Karis Wilde told Queerty, “While shooting, I allowed myself to feel vulnerable. It terrified me how much I’ve stored all those emotions; I almost cried in the middle of taping.”

This spring, North Carolina made it illegal for transgender people to use the restroom correlated to the gender with which they identify, and many conservative states are looking to follow suit. It’s nice to see a company address the heated issue in a nuanced, human way—even if it’s all a means to push a gendered product.

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*First Published: Oct 28, 2016, 3:31 pm CDT