Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps CEO is embracing he/they pronouns and their place on the gender ‘spectrum’
David Bronner, CEO of Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps, is one of the highest-profile US executives to have publicly embraced he/they pronouns, stating that they identify somewhere on the “spectrum of gender and orientation.”
In a blog post shared on the company’s website to mark National Coming Out Day last October, the New Age soap brand’s top executive and so-called ‘Cosmic Engagement Officer’ reflected on their gender identity journey, explaining their hope that sharing their story would help create a “more accepting and loving reality”.
“For some time, I’ve thought it would be a good idea to “come out” and celebrate that I’ve considered myself “about 25% girl” for quite a while,” wrote the businessman, who is the grandson of Dr Emanuel Bronner, who founded Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps in 1948.
Bronner explained that they were in denial about their femininity until a “dramatic LSD and MDMA-induced initiation into spirit world” in a gay club in Amsterdam in the mid-1990s.
“In that experience, I realised that I wasn’t ‘straight,’ ‘gay,’ or ‘man’ or ‘woman’,” he wrote, “but [an] incarnate soul here to serve and get down, and that my toxic insecure aggressive masculinity was doing violence to my own feminine nature and soul, as well as my partner at the time.”
The businessman says that because that genderqueer and they/them pronouns were less understood at the time, they struggled to find an appropriate label for themself as a person who identified as “relatively straight /masculine” and “wasn’t that attracted to male-identified folks”.
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“I explored this queer/androgynous side of myself through hanging out and dancing in gay bars and raves with friends,” he recalled.
Spiritual soap-seller Bronner also credited their gender-diverse family with helping them to embrace their identity, paying tribute to their “amazing non-binary 25-year-old kid, Maya” and their “glorious genderfluid bi wife, Mia”.
Bronner’s announcement marked another an important statement for non-binary and trans leadership in large corporations.
They join a short list of queer figureheads in business that includes V Pappas, TikTok’s chief operating officer, who recently announced that they are non-binary.
Bronner dedicated their coming out announcement to Kaleb Vaughan, “a trans Black soul brother I knew for a moment, who blazed into our lives like a shooting star” and who sadly took their own life.
Bronner pleaded in his post: “May our world soon recognise and celebrate the incredible beauty of all like him.
“By sharing my journey here and embracing he/they pronouns, I hope to contribute in a tiny way to helping bring about that more accepting and loving reality.”
Based in California, Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps is known for its quirky branding and organic soap products that often advertise multiple uses for both self-care and household cleaning tasks.
The labelling on the company’s flagship multi-use soap contains hundreds of quotes of inspiration from the company’s late founder Dr Emanuel Bronner, including his “Moral ABCs” and his “All-one-God-faith” ethos.
David Bronner, who became company president following his father’s death in 1998, is a devout vegan and, according to their company bio, “enjoys surfing and dancing late into the night.”
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