For Mother’s Day this year, HRC is honoring mothers across the nation who are standing up for transgender equality.
This particular group of mothers has become outspoken advocates for transgender equality. Whether on Capitol Hill, the Nightly News or at the White House, these moms have become exceptional role models for parents everywhere.
Here are their stories:
1. Michelle: Michelle is just your average mom in Northern California. She is the mother of three children, including her transgender daughter, Malisa. “Malisa is your typical pre-adolescent girl,” Michelle said in a video for HRC. “She loves to craft and sing.” Michelle and her father, Congressman Mike Honda, have both been open about their undivided support for Malisa and equality for the transgender community.
2. Annie: Annie always knew there was something special about her grandchild, Kaycee. “I knew it was something different about Kaycee,” she said in a HRC video. “Kaycee didn’t have to tell me. I knew it." While Kaycee was worried about coming out to her family as transgender, her grandmother stood by her side every step of the way.
3. Ofelia: Ofelia, a mother of three, lives in Los Angeles with her three children, including her transgender daughter, Zoey. “It doesn’t make sense how people can define you without knowing you. It just doesn’t,” Ofelia said in a new HRC video. “If you look at Zoey and you see her, she’s a girl.” Ofelia has not only supported Zoey in her own home, but has lobbied on behalf of the transgender community in Sacramento, working for AB 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, and the TRUTH Project.
4. Ileana: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Florida Republican, has long been an outspoken advocate on Capitol Hill for LGBT equality, from her early support for lifting the ban against openly-LGBT Americans serving in the military, to advocating for anti-discrimination and anti-bullying measures. For her, it’s personal. Rep. Ros-Lehtinen has a transgender son, Rodrigo.
5. Debi: Debi’s daughter Avery was four-years-old when she proclaimed her true gender identity to her mother. Debi, who is Southern Baptist, admitted that at first she didn’t quite know how to process the information, but as soon as Avery was able to live life freely and openly as her authentic self, Debi and her family saw an immediate change for the better.
6. Jodie: A mother of five, Jodie noticed from an early age that her third child, Penelope, would study and imitate the actions of his father and brothers. Penelope was assigned female at birth but was certain of his true identity as early as he was able to express it. Jodie swiftly made the important decision to empower and support her child unconditionally.