This Trans-Inclusive Scandinavian Holiday Ad Is What We Need After A Hard Year For LGBTQ Rights — VIDEO
Everybody likes getting gifts, so this season, behold this Scandinavian holiday ad featuring a trans teenager being supported by her father to receive the gift of Feels-with-a-capital-F. Seriously — my heart has been withering away at a steady pace ever since Gilmore Girls went off the air, and I thought the events of 2016 had finished the job. But I've never been more wrong in my life, because the holiday ad from Scandinavian electronics retailer Elgiganten will make even the crankiest Scrooge wish they had a handkerchief. (Here's a pro tip for maintaining your air of mystery and cynicism: Blame your sniffles on the weather.)
You don't have to understand Norwegian for the ad to get its message of acceptance and love across. The clip opens with a typical family gathering for the holidays where everyone appears to be having fun save for a teenager who's chosen a place in the corner. She's clearly uncomfortable, picking at her nails and staring fixedly at the floor. Her father, who looks fairly awkward himself, keeps glancing over until he gets up to hand her a present: A mini hair straightener. Aside from being useful for any teenager, it's presumably mean to symbolize his acceptance of her gender identity. The daughter smiles, her dad smiles back, and the ad closes with a phrase meaning, "Let the gifts talk." Meanwhile, you're hugging yourself and crying in the middle of your office.
Needless to say, the ad has been well-received online. In the comments, one user wrote, "As the mother-in-law of a wonderful transgender woman, I applaud this!" Another commented, "As a transgender woman I cannot stop watching this video as it is so fantastic," adding that it makes her cry every time. A Twitter user described it as the "most heartwarming ad [they] had seen in a while."
According to New Now Next, Elgiganten says the ad is meant to be a reminder that even small gifts can convey "big, important, beautiful, and hopeful things." And the video itself accomplishes this as well: It's been a tough year for LGBTQIA+ rights, especially for transgender people. In the United States, numerous states attempted to pass bills restricting bathroom access based on biological sex, and according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, the transgender community continued to experience disturbing amounts of harassment.
That's what makes the Elgiganten ad especially poignant; it's a reminder that even when things are going in a scary direction politically, families are still capable of acceptance. Considering 2017 looks like it might present just as many challenges as 2016, we could use more inclusive videos like this. They may not do much in the large scheme of things, but they're a start.
Check out the video below — just wait until you have a box of tissues handy first.