Steve Ralls

This Is Our Love Story

Filed By Steve Ralls | May 20, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: ad campaign, Calpernia Addams, LOGO, PFLAG, Transamerican Love Story, Transform the Movement, transgender issues

It's impossible not to have at least a little bit of a crush on Calpernia Addams. The star of LOGO's recent reality series Transamerican Love Story and the subject of Showtime's haunting film Soldier's Girl, Calpernia is the epitome of grace under fire. She is a decorated war hero, a captivating public speaker and a tireless crusader for a better world. (And don't get me started about her motorcycles!)

Most of all, however, Calpernia is an inspiration: to her fans, to the transgender community and to each and every person who believes that full equality means a movement that leaves no one behind.


That's why all of us at PFLAG are so excited to have Calpernia as the spokesperson for our new campaign, titled This Is Our Love Story, which debuts this summer. We can't think of anyone so well-suited to talk about our commitment to the transgender community. And we can't imagine a better love story to tell.

As we spell out in our Love Story campaign, PFLAG's commitment to transgender equality has never wavered, and we are proud to have such a long history with our family, friends and allies in the transgender community. We believe, as Dr. King did, that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere," and we know that none of our families can count on "liberty and justice for all" until all of our families can count on respect and dignity for their transgender loved ones.

That's why PFLAG was the first national LGBT organization to include the transgender community in its mission statement and why, in 2002, the PFLAG board adopted a policy to only support legislation that is transgender-inclusive. It's why we launched TNET, our transgender network, which became the organization's first "special affiliate," recognized with all the privileges and responsibilties of all of our PFLAG chapters. And it's why we were proud to be a founding member of United ENDA, and work for an employment non-discrimination bill that includes not just sexual orientation, but gender identity and expression, too.

And those are just a few chapters in PFLAG's love story with the transgender community.

This summer, as a companion piece to our campaign with Calpernia, PFLAG will also launch Transform the Movement: Tell Us Your Love Story, a groundbreaking new website where the transgender community can find resources, more information about PFLAG's work on issues important to them, and talk to us about how PFLAG can be the best possible advocate on their behalf. We'll engage community leaders, like Calpernia, who have been on the frontlines of this work for years, and bring new voices to the movement for full equality. Because we know that, rather than just telling our stories, and educating our leaders, it is imperative that we hear the feedback of those who are living, working and fighting for change in the community every day.

At PFLAG, our love story is just beginning, and our deep commitment to transgender issues is never-ending. We know that there is much education to do - including within our own community - and we know that there are many challenges ahead. But the opportunities are too great, and the promises too extraordinary, to not meet those challenges head-on... together. That's why we're inviting the community to join us in this important conversation and move equality forward.

And like any good love story, we know that, together, we can overcome any obstacle and win the day when we do the right thing.

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I was just watching Transamerican Love Story last night, and was thinking how much I liked Calpernia. I didn't know that she was the subject of Soldier's Girl which is one of my favorite movies, and knowing this makes me respect Calpernia all the more. I think that she is a wonderful choice as the spokesperson for the new PFLAG campaign. What was intersting about last night's episode of Transamerican Love Story was that it focussed on the parents of the reality show participants, and Calpernia stated that she did not have the support of her parents in her transition. I'm so happy that she's the new PFLAG spokesperson.

I had the pleasure of meeting her at the 2004 Southern Comfort and having a long conversation with her. She's a class act.

Calpernia is an amazing example of the resiliency of our community. She is a perfect spokesperson for PFLAG and the LGBT community!

I met her a few months after the incident that "Soldier's Girl" documents, and liked her immediately. She came off as whip-smart, comfortable in her own skin, and every inch a Southern lady in the best sense of the term. Logo isn't on our cable system, so I haven't seen her show, but it's nice to see that she's doing well, and she will be a fine spokesperson for PFlag.

I have to admit to a bit of star-sruckedness with Calpernia. Not only is she pretty, but she's smart too. What a combo!

I've always known PFLAG to be very trans friendly. I'm glad to see them doing a program like this, Steve. Way to go!

She is a perfect spokesman for PFLAG and the LGBT community.

Hard to argue with that one. LOL

I haven't met Calpernia yet, but I am looking forward to meeting her at one of the conferences because I have heard so many good things about her.

Recently I joined PFLAG Denver after I discovered that a person need not be an LGBT teenager or the parent or a guardian of an LGBT teenager, or be an LGBT person with children.

Anyone can join, and this is a good organization to support in many ways. I wish Calpernia well in her campaign.

Callie is a wonderful choice for this campaign and PFLAG has always been a wonderful advocate for trans-people. Great news.