Advertisers are catching on to the fact that the people buying products have a wide range of experiences and identities, and even though they’re ultimately just selling stuff to us, seeing oneself represented in media can have a huge influence on how you feel about being out in the world. It can give you a sense of belonging and community—even when it’s just a commerical about Secret deodorant.
Actress Kara Wilde plays “Dana,” a trans or genderqueer woman in a bathroom stall who is psyching herself up to exit and meet the other ladies fixing their makeup in front of the mirror. Finally she takes a deep breath and exits, and the words, “Stress test #8260 — Dana finds the courage to show there’s no wrong way to be a woman,” appear on the screen. She seems to be greeted warmly, with someone saying off camera, “Great dress!”
Wilde told Queerty that she dug deep for the brief scene, saying, “I always have moments of insecurity but I have conditioned myself to act unbothered...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.”
With all the controversy over gender neutral bathrooms and conservative obsession with where transgender folk pee, a lot of emotions have built up around using these public spaces. The Dana of this story has a happy experience, which is great to see. So great I’m almost considering buying a stick (JK, I use the crystal).