Television viewers watching the Tony Awards last night were wrecked by a new video from Verizon that features real families who struggled with a family member coming out, but were eventually able to find better communication and understanding.
Verizon worked with PFLAG, the nation’s largest organization uniting families and allies with people who are LGBTQ, on the message that a bad “first call” doesn’t have to be the end of family relationships.
Lee Hirsch, who helmed the award-winning 2011 documentary Bully, was brought on to direct the campaign.
Titled “Love Calls Back,” the video features four real-life LGBTQ people who got a bad reaction when they called loved ones to come out.
The spot begins with a young woman speaking to the camera: “Me and my mom were always BFFs until I called her and told her I, like, want to date a girl… and she lost it.”
The camera cuts to the mother, who shares, “It was a shock. It’s not what I wanted for my daughter.”
“She has to live her own life and do what she wants,” the mother continues. “I haven’t said that to her — but I think that would have made a big difference.”
The clip cuts to the mother calling her daughter to say, “You know when you first called me, I should have told you how much I loved you then.”
“Whoever you bring into this home will have my love also,” she adds.
The Twitterverse was shook:
Me after watching the #PFLAG/@verizon commercial during the #TonyAwards. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 pic.twitter.com/VwA817tTem
— Have Wine, Will Travel 🍷🌎 (@wanderlust_mel) June 10, 2019
— Grayson (@GraysonSjoholm) June 10, 2019
Dear @verizon the #Pflag commercial was incredibly moving. If you’ve turned your back on your #LGBTQ family member, it’s not to late. Please reach out. Everyone needs their family. Love is love.
— Nerd & Lace (@nerdandlace) June 10, 2019
I love the Tonys and theatre but damn if it wasn’t the Verizon/PFLAG ad that reduced me to a puddle of tears. #verizon #pflag #loveislove #Familylove #welldone
— Nate Wade (@therealNateWade) June 10, 2019
This @Verizon/#PFLAG ad was heartbreakingly 💔 real.
Parents, love your #LGBTQ kids. We deserve nothing less. 🏳️🌈#TonyAwards #PrideMonth
— Victoria Brownworth #PrideMonth (@VABVOX) June 10, 2019
Verizon has announced a series of initiatives for Pride Month that includes content shared across major media outlets like Yahoo News and HuffPost, as well as employee engagement at 19 Pride events across the country.
The communications giant is also donating $250,000 to PFLAG to help build programs that offer support to families and their LGBTQ loved ones.
Verizon and PFLAG created a similar spot last year for Pride, but in that sixty second spot, all goes well for those coming out: