Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps is an American producer of organic soap and personal care products headquartered in Vista, California. The company was founded in the late 1940s by Emanuel Bronner and continues to be run by members of the Bronner family.
David Bronner, the CEO of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap Company, has come out as using he and they pronouns.
Bronner — the grandson of the original Dr. Bronner, who founded the company in 1948 — posted a lengthy essay to the soap brand’s website on Tuesday to commemorate National Coming Out Day.
“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,” Bronner wrote. They added that they were in denial about this until “a dramatic LSD and MDMA mediated initiation into spirit world in Amsterdam in a gay trance club called Mazzo, in the winter of ‘95.”
To be clear, we’re talking about the person who runs the soap brand that has a long label chock-full of esoteric ramblings. So it perhaps should not come as a surprise that Bronner’s coming out would be equally woo-woo. The label dates to 1948, when the original Dr. Bronner used his soaps to spread the message of “transcendent unity across religious & ethnic divides,” after his parents were killed in the Holocaust. Users are also encouraged to “teach the whole Human race the Moral ABC’s,” a lengthy code of ethics inspired by a Rudyard Kipling poem.
Back on the Dr. Bronners blog, the younger Bronner wrote of his spirit world initiation that “in that experience, I realized that I wasn’t ‘straight,’ ‘gay,’ or ‘man’ or ‘woman’ — but 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.”
Naturally, Bronner is also an avid member of the Burning Man community, the yearly festival where people head to the desert for a week to do a bunch of psychedelics and make art. He wrote that he celebrates the “relatively queer and feminine” part of himself at Burning Man, “expressing my androgynous nature and inner woman.”
“Like RuPaul says, we’re born naked and all the rest is drag… and unfortunately a lot of us are born with a patriarchal straitjacket costume that does so much damage to those of us who aren’t in the gender hetero-normative binary, and we’re shamed and socialized early by peers and parents to not be ‘gay or girlie,’ or to dress and express as such,” Bronner wrote.
In addition to their experiences at Burning Man, gay bars and raves, and at Pride, Bronner also cited the seminal 1991 anthology, Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice, as foundational to their understanding of their identity. Specifically, they noted the essay “A View from a Sling” by Geoff Mains, which is about the spiritual resonance of public fisting, and an interview with Fakir Musafara, an extreme body mods enthusiast. Although Bronner himself is not part of the leather community, he stated that he had “a lot of admiration” for the leather community for their “the deep surrender into the mysterious beyond.”
Last but not least, Bronner gave a shoutout to their 25-year-old child, Maya, and their genderfluid bi wife, Mia. He also dedicated his coming out to Kaleb Vaughn, “a trans Black soul brother I knew for a moment, who blazed into our lives like a shooting star.”
“May our world soon recognize and celebrate the incredible beauty of all like him!” Bronner wrote. “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.”
Bronner joins the likes of Madonna, Emily Ratajkowski, Shay Mitchell, and undoubtedly countless others in coming out as some flavor of queer this past week. And although not everyone may consider Bronner the same caliber of celebrity as those women, the soap entrepreneur is a bona-fide star in our hearts.