In a new video for the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Lena Beug and RPA put parents at the center of the conversation around coming out.

National Coming Out Day is October 11, and because coming out is still a big deal for the LGBTQ+ community, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has created a powerful video that highlights how family acceptance is critical to the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ youth.

The video, created by agency RPA and directed by Station’s Lena Beug, uses a heart-wrenching cover of a renown artist’s famous track, “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” performed by Rose Cousins (the use of which was donated by the publishers). The video puts parents at the center of the conversation around coming out and tells the story of teens who aren’t afforded the luxury of “stereotypical” teenage heartbreak – heartbreak at the hands of an unrequited teenage crush or being left out of the “cool kid” club at school.

LGBTQ+ teens can experience an altogether different kind of heartbreak – that of their parents’ disappointment and rejection at their coming out. The story then fast-forwards to the future, and we see the after-effect of parents who have learned ways to support, and simply love, their teen through the coming-out process.

Director Lena Beug says of the film, “The message behind this spot is simple and fundamental. We need love. Love is everything. Teenagers are vulnerable, LGBTQ+ teens even more so. Your job as a parent is to love and accept your teen, whoever they are. This campaign is about sadness but it’s also about hope – and how both can be present. If one parent, uncle, or friend of a teen who hasn’t been able to love them for who they are sees this spot and it strikes a chord, it will have done its job. 

I grew up in rural Ireland in the 80’s – being different was not really allowed, it scared people too much. I am honored to play any part at all in letting the light in, in putting away the fear. The world is changing, but not quickly enough. We need to push ourselves. We need work like this to remind us of the vulnerabilities of the people around us. To remind us that it’s not easy to be different,  we all deserve to be seen and to live our true selves.”

The video, which lives on the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s social channels, received donated TV, digital and social placements, including a run in select theaters throughout Los Angeles and donated time from Hulu, National CineMedia, Spectrum, Twitch, Twitter and Tubi. Additionally, the Los Angeles LGBT Center will post behind-the-scenes videos featuring cast members’ coming-out stories.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, the Los Angeles LGBT Center has cared for, championed, and celebrated LGBT individuals and families in Los Angeles and beyond since 1969. Today, the Center’s nearly 700 employees provide services for more LGBT people than any other organization in the world, offering programs, services, and global advocacy that span four broad categories: Health, Social Services and Housing, Culture and Education and Leadership and Advocacy.

Learn more HERE.

Watch more of Lena’s work HERE.