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.