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Meet Wayne, a Dad for Transgender Equality

Wayne, a U.S. Air Force veteran who lives in Maine, is the father of identical twins. One of the twins, Nicole, is transgender.

“I learned that some basic principles I believed in were hurting my babies,” Wayne shares in a new HRC video. “Boys play with trucks, girls play with dolls. That’s just not true.”

Wayne gets emotional in the video as he discusses his journey to acceptance, and the hopes and fears he has for Nicole.

“Trans kids are coming out. They’re your babies and they’re your grandbabies and they’re your neighbors,” he continued. “Any kid, no matter race, religion, whatever, it’s human rights. Everybody should have the same rights. We can work together and get things done and I know it to be true because I’ve done it.”

Wayne and Nicole’s story was featured in a recent best-selling book, “Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of American Family” by Washington Post reporter Amy Ellis Nutt.

While Wayne and his family have become vocal advocates for transgender youth, many LGBTQ young people lack crucial support from their families, and instead are rejected, leaving them at risk for homelessness, substance abuse, depression, and suicide. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ.

Watch the video below to see the difference supportive dads can make in their transgender children’s lives. For more information on supporting and caring for transgender and gender-expansive children and youth, visit hrc.org/trans-youth.

Whether you identify as transgender or as an ally, join HRC’s #ThisIsTransgender social media campaign to share your story. Tag HRC on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and send your Snapchat snaps to WeAreHRC and include the hashtag #ThisIsTransgender.