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He lost a son to hate violence in Brazil. Now he has an inspiring message for parents of LGBT kids everywhere.

Homophobia and transphobia don’t affect only lesbian, gay, bi and trans people. Avelino Mendes is a straight man and a loving father who lost his eldest son, Lucas, to homophobic violence in 2012. In this moving video, he talks about how his loss inspired him to take up activism. Having seen how many parents — fathers, especially — struggle to accept their gay and lesbian sons and daughters and the devastating consequences of rejection, Avelino is working with families across Brazil to help them learn to embrace and celebrate their children. He wants all fathers to understand that having a son or daughter who’s lesbian, gay, bi or trans isn’t a sadness. as he says, “It might be the greatest joy in the world.”

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