The greeting card company Hallmark is once again reaching out to the LGBT community as part of its #PutYourHeartToPaper ad campaign. For Valentine's Day this year the campaign highlighted a lesbian couple in a heartwarming ad; now, in the run-up to Mother's Day, they've released a poignant new video spot that features Alex, a transgender man, talking about his mother Pam.
"My mom is probably the most light, bright, positive person I've ever met in my life, and that's just how she's always been. When she hugs me she really hugs me, and when you get a good hug, that is something that makes you feel safe and loved, and she's the only one who has that effect on me.
"I've never felt home in my body, and even though I was born a girl, I always felt like I was a boy. And I was afraid to tell her because I thought love would have conditions. And the unconditional love that she's shown has made me a better person in all of my relationships."
What Alex doesn't know is that his mom is watching in the next room. Grab the tissues and check out the Hallmark ad, after the break.
A parent's unconditional love for their transgender child is a beautiful thing, isn't it?
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, praised the new ad:
"As someone with a mother as bright and wonderful as Alex's, I can attest to how basic a parent's unconditional love is. At a time when transgender young people are being bullied and attacked at home and in school and even politically bullied by state legislators and school boards, seeing a mother's love means the world for trans kids and parents of transgender kids who are on their own journeys.
"On this Mother's Day, we should celebrate parents like Pam and my own mother, Elaine, who show unconditional love of their kids. But we also must call attention to and support transgender kids who might not be as lucky."
Indeed, NCTE notes that in the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey, a whopping 57% of respondents reported experiencing significant family rejection.
Let's hope that as trans people become more visible and trans voices and experiences become heard and valued, more and more parents will respond to their transgender children as Pam and Elaine have -- with unconditional love and affirmation.