"I’m a girl in my heart and my brain."
When Ellie was 3 years old, she began wearing dresses.
At first, her parents assumed they simply had a son who liked playing with different clothing — "and we were OK with that," noted Ellie's mom.
But that wasn't the whole story.
<p>As time passed, it became more evident that Ellie didn't associate with the sex she was assigned at birth. She's a girl.</p><p><strong></strong></p><p>In the video below, Ellie's mom and dad read a touching letter addressed to their daughter's teachers and classmates' parents, explaining why they support their child, through and though.</p><p>“Ellie has told us she’s a girl in many ways," the letter says. "The most clear has been, ‘I’m a girl in my heart and my brain.’”</p><p><strong>The letter is a true testament to the courage it takes to be yourself and the special power of unconditional love:</strong></p><span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f7afde6a731c6e2b7718c77a8236448f"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q95XbY4CVhQ?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p><strong>Ellie and her family's story is a reminder that so much more needs to be done to ensure equality for <em>all</em> LGBTQ Americans.</strong> </p><p>While the U.S. has moved forward on issues like <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/27/us/supreme-court-same-sex-marriage.html?_r=0" target="_blank">marriage equality</a> and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mississippi-same-sex-adoption_us_56fdb1a3e4b083f5c607567f" target="_blank">same-sex adoption</a>, progress has also been met with fervent opposition. Much of the backlash has focused on the transgender community, which still faces obstacles in <a href="http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/9/25/doors-often-closed-to-transgender-tenant-searching-for-housing.html" target="_blank">housing</a> and <a href="http://www.hrc.org/resources/discrimination-against-transgender-workers" target="_blank">employment discrimination</a> (and, sadly, even just <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/hb2-is-a-constitutional-monstrosity/482106/" target="_blank">using the bathroom</a>).</p><p>Ellie's parents, however, are confident their brave 5-year-old will lead a happy and fulfilling life. And they're committed to supporting her each step of the way.</p><p><strong>“I’m really scared for her," Ellie's dad admits, holding back tears. "But at the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”</strong></p>
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