A trans woman preparing to visit her family for the holidays (Pantene)

Haircare brand Pantene has partnered with GLAAD in a new Christmas advert that highlights how hard it can be for LGBT+ people to return home for the holidays.

The powerful ad begins with the words: “While 137 million Americans will travel home this holiday season, 44 percent of LGBT+ people feel they can’t come home as their true selves.”

It features the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles and shows video vignettes of choir members mustering the courage to travel back to their families for the festive period. The ad is accompanied by a full video series of the individuals explaining what their homecomings mean for them.

It includes a trans woman, Crystal, who changes her hair, clothing and makeup in preparation for the trip. “To be able to express myself openly, and genuinely – it’s freeing,” she said. “I could finally look in the mirror and say, ‘that’s me.’”

Another trans woman, Miliana, shares her happiness in finally getting her father’s acceptance after five years of struggling with her new identity.

And a trans man, Steven, is shown bringing his boyfriend home for a first holiday with the family. “To have someone so loving to bring home is a really special thing,” he said.

“Inclusion is at the heart of Pantene’s mission to celebrate the beauty of all transformations and of all people,” said Ilaria Resta, vice-president of Procter & Gamble.

“Hearing these LGBTQ individuals speak about the trials and triumphs of going home for the holidays – as well as their irrepressible desire to be their true selves – will inspire others in the community and remind us all what true beauty is about.”

Alongside the advert and video series Pantene has pledged to make a $100,000 donation to Family Equality, a charity which fights for members of the LGBT+ community to have the right and the opportunity to form and sustain a loving family.

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