"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.
As time passed, it became more evident that Ellie didn't associate with the sex she was assigned at birth. She's a girl.
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.
“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.’”
The letter is a true testament to the courage it takes to be yourself and the special power of unconditional love:
Ellie and her family's story is a reminder that so much more needs to be done to ensure equality for all LGBTQ Americans.
While the U.S. has moved forward on issues like marriage equality and same-sex adoption, progress has also been met with fervent opposition. Much of the backlash has focused on the transgender community, which still faces obstacles in housing and employment discrimination (and, sadly, even just using the bathroom).
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.
“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.”