Jack O'Brien
Nov 15, 2023

Edelman-backed ad amplifies need for transgender healthcare access

The testimonials included in the ad emphasize how confusing, isolating and challenging coming out as transgender can be, especially for a teenager or young child.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

The National Center for Lesbian Rights launched its Healthcare is Caring initiative Monday in support of Transgender Awareness Week.

The integrated campaign, which was developed and created by Edelman as well as its Out Front team of LGBTQIA+ employees, recognizes the myriad of obstacles faced by transgender patients seeking care.

At the center of the effort is a two-minute long film, aptly named “Healthcare is Caring,” which shows parents reading letters from their children who have come out as transgender. 

The testimonials included in the letters emphasize how confusing, isolating and challenging coming out as transgender can be, especially for a teenager or young child.

“You gave me the power to choose who I wanted to be, fighting to make sure I had access to healthcare,” a patient named Luke says. 

The video, which was released on Transgender Day of Remembrance, concludes with text plastered over a sunset that reads, “The thing our kids have always needed most is care.”

Viewers are then encouraged to sign an open letter in support of transgender healthcare at the campaign’s website.

The film was produced by the agency Windy Films and directed by Emmy-nominated creator Zen Pace, who said Healthcare is Caring gives a space to parents of transgender children. 

“This film is special to me because not only does it touch my community, but it helps put forward a much more accurate story of these families that simply doesn’t exist out there,” Pace said in a statement.

The timely campaign was launched as access to transgender healthcare continues to be a contentious topic across the U.S., with policies varying not only on a state-by-state basis but also on the local level.

Transgender people only account for 1.6% of the U.S. population but have been the target of hundreds of proposed pieces of legislation, many of which have been adopted into law, curtailing access to gender-affirming services and other care options.

Brands haven’t been spared from controversies related to the transgender community as both Target and Bud Light became the subject of boycotts earlier this year that affected their reputation and bottom line.

Still, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, which account for about 8% of the U.S. population, have indicated that they expect to hear more frequently from healthcare brands about a wide array of medical concerns.

A report released earlier this year by CMI Media Group and Compas, a 2023 MM+M Agency 100 honoree, found that members of the community also care about seeing LGBTQIA+ values reflected at the corporate level

Given the extent of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation and rhetoric proliferating across the country, some medical marketers and the healthcare brands they represent have stepped up to rectify the industry’s long-standing blindspot on the subject.

“This campaign is proof of two things: the magic that happens when you bring people of every discipline together to drive meaningful change and that having access to trans healthcare isn’t just critical to helping youth survive, but to thrive as well,” Jordan Atlas, Edelman’s U.S. chief creative officer, stated.



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