A father in Australia symbolically adopted his trans daughter's trans best friend after she was allegedly rejected by her own father, and their inspiring TikTok videos of the news has gone viral.
Mat Stevenson, a well-known Australian actor who played Adam Cameron in Home And Away, has been a big ally and source of support for his trans daughter, Grace Hyland since she came out as trans. So when Hyland's best friend, Belle Bambi, was rejected by her own father because she was trans, Stevenson jumped right in and added a new daughter to his family.
"My BFF's dad left because she's trans," Hyland captioned a TikTok video she posted where she shared the news. "So we did this: Dad is adopting her! He's always supported me, and he wants to support Bambi, too. We're sisters now!"
In her own video posted to TikTok with the description "finally a dad who accepts and loves me for who I am," Bambi shared her own experience getting adopted by Stevenson.
"Some days I think about how my dad left me because I'm trans," Bambi said in her caption while sitting alone in her room until Stevenson appeared.
"I've got something for you," Mat said, holding up a symbolic certificate of adoption.
After signing the certificate, Stevenson gave his new daughter a kiss on the cheek.
"He adopted me," Bambi wrote as the video closed.
Hyland and Bambi have been best friends for years, and have shared their experiences as trans folks via social media. Hyland has over 233,000+ followers and 5.7 million likes on TikTok, and over 75,000+ followers on Instagram.
"So for me it really made sense," Mat told The Project of his reaction upon learning his daughter was trans. "All through Grace's early years, she would gravitate to all things female. And when I saw Grace run towards authenticity and just jump over all the hurdles to do so, I, without doubt, had a front-row seat to the most courageous thing I'd seen."
Hyland said she knew was different "as young as maybe four or five, just really feeling that I was a girl." She went on to say she "couldn't explain it" and thought she was "weird or destined for a life of unhappiness."
When she finally came out at age 12, she did so on a note delivered to her stepmom, who proved to be a strong ally.
"She was so supportive and she really helped me navigate telling everyone," Hyland told The Project of her stepmother. "So she told my dad, she actually went over to my mom's and sat her down and told her about everything that I'd said."
By the time she was 14, Hyland said she was "fully presenting as Grace to the public and at school." She also told The Project she was "truly lucky" to be the daughter of such a supportive father.