This Powerful Ad for Trans Youth Awareness Illustrates What No Parent Should Have to Do

Love shouldn't hurt like this

It's hard to watch "Love you, my girl." Every part of it hurts. 

The ad, by TBWA\Paris, opens in a family home whose terrible silence is magnified by what sounds like abuse. Over time, we get a fuller picture: A young trans girl suffers various gauntlets imposed by her father; her mother and sister deal with it in silence. 

It's not hard to learn what's happening here, even before the reveal.

Inter-LGBT | Love you, my girl

What looks and probably feels like abuse is not quite that. A dad confronts his daughter, shouting things like "Hit me!" Some moments are a bit on the nose: At one point he traps her in a closet and holds it shut while she struggles to escape, an agonizingly literal take on that LGBT rite of passage—coming out of the closet to loved ones, then publicly.

It's only at the end that we learn the context for all this Hunger Games training: A month prior, she came home badly bruised. He knew it happened at school; she lamented that her aggressors will never understand that she's just not a boy.

The ad ends with him embracing her, cupping her head against him with his palm. "It's gonna be tough, but I'll help you," he says. "I love you, my girl."

Produced by Wanda Paris with post-prod by TBWA\Else, "Love you, my girl" was created for French association Inter-LGBT, a collective of 50 LGBT organizations in France. It illustrates the fact that 85 percent of trans people will suffer abuse, and the hope is we can reduce these figures by raising empathic community awareness.

Getting parents to understand is sometimes the toughest first step. In this case, the father seems to get it all too well. But he's clearly not that optimistic about the rest of the world, and this is the emotional thread of this story.

"No parent should have to prepare their child to confront life, rather than just live it," the ad tells us. Then we're sent to the website, SupportTransPeople.com.

The site, in French, provides information on how people can be more understanding about what it is to be a trans person. It advances Inter-LGBT's larger goals—providing aid to its community members, advocating for institutional change and challenging civil society to better protect all its members.

But the group says the young trans community suffers a disproportionate amount of verbal and physical abuse when compared to trans adults. Information from Stonewall.org from 2017 found that 45 percent of trans young people have attempted suicide.

The campaign launched at the end of March and will appear on national TV in France, as well as on social networks. Inter-LGBT is also lobbying for legislation that protects trans people from recurring daily discrimination, and provides improved access to gender reassignment surgery when it's desired.

CREDITS

"Love you, my girl"

Client: Inter-LGBT
Agency: TBWA\Paris

Advertising managers: Aurore Foursy, Clémence Zamora Cruz, Elisa Koubi, Luka Mongelli, Virginie Combe
Agency manager: Charlotte Mascart

Executive Creative Directors: Faustin Claverie & Benjamin Marchal
Art Director: François Claux
Copywriter: Swann Richard

FILM 
Head of TV: Maxime Boiron
TV Producer: Mathilde Nanot Lachkar
PRODUCTION: WANDA PARIS
Director: Guilhem MACHENAUD 
Producer: Olivier DUBOCAGE
Head of photography: Arnaud SCHULZ 
Production manager: Benjamin ZORRILLA 

POST-PRODUCTION TBWA\ELSE
Post-producer: Elise Gamboa
Video editor: Stéphanie Pelissier

SOUND PRODUCTION TBWA\ELSE
Head of Music and Sound: Olivier Lefebvre
Music and Sound Producer: Fanny Mithois
Sound engineer: Eliot Just, Vendôme Uhl

WEBSITE: DAN PARIS
Project lead: Justine Chevalier-Voguet
Head of prod: Guilhem Vacher
UX: Ombeline Reininger, Yann Lupion
DA: Emmanuel Cloarec
Project manager: Glenn Pezier
Developers: Tristan Le Moigne, Thomas Ogier, Sidney Bourgalle, Marion Ott, Maurice Nguyen

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.