Apr 26, 2022 - Politics

New GLAAD ad features Texas family with transgender kid

A mom in her kitchen
Amber Briggle in the new GLAAD ad airing in Texas — and all over the country. Screenshot courtesy of GLAAD.

A new ad from GLAAD features the North Texas mother of a transgender child describing their family.

  • "If you've never met a family with a transgender child before," Amber Briggle tells the camera in the new ad airing all over the country, "what I want you to know is that that child is no different than yours."

Why it matters: Trans kids and their families have become a focal point for conservative politicians running for re-election.

Catch up quick: Earlier this year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered state agencies to investigate gender-affirming care for transgender kids as child abuse.

  • Some families have opted to leave the state.
  • After Abbott's orders, UT Southwestern suspended providing hormone treatment for new patients.

By the numbers: More than 225 anti-LGBTQ bills have been filed in the first three months of 2022, according to GLAAD. 65% of these bills focused on transgender people.

Context: The PSA is part of GLAAD’s efforts to share stories about LGBTQ youth and their families. It comes as a growing number of states are proposing and passing bills that target the families of transgender kids.

  • "The story of the Briggle family in Texas is the story of so many families across the country," GLAAD CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. "It’s a story that resonates with me as a mom: a story about loving and supporting your children, even in the midst of unthinkable, unprecedented attacks on our children."

The intrigue: In 2016, Briggle had Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his wife over for dinner. Briggle has written that Paxton "has forgotten us."

What they're saying: Briggle, who also did a TED talk on this topic, tells Axios that reactions to their family's story has changed dramatically over the last few years.

"When we first went public as a trans-inclusive family, the reactions were overwhelmingly negative, hateful, pointed, and at times scary," Briggle tells Axios. "Today, the opposite is true: I'll get the occasional hateful message, but they are far outnumbered by the deluge of supportive messages blowing up my inbox and DMs."

"We understand that not every family feels safe enough to be public," Briggle says. "We feel we have an obligation to not only our own transgender child, but to their trans kids too — to shine a light on this, make these kids visible, and show the world that trans kids are just as miraculous and perfect as any kid is."

"Once you begin to understand that, it's harder to hate up close. And that's how we change the world."

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show UT Southwestern suspended hormone treatment for new patients, but did not shut down its clinic.

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