Debi Jackson describes herself as a “conservative Southern Baptist Republican from Alabama,” and the parent of a transgender child.

After helping her daughter AJ transition at the age of four, and dealing with the public scrutiny that followed, Jackson recently spoke on a panel of mothers at the Unity Temple on the Plaza in Kansas City, and her moving speech has since gone viral.

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From the pink sparkly shoes AJ always wanted to wear, to the moment the child officially announced she was a girl, Jackson recalls their family’s journey with sincerity and humor.

“We lost most of our friends and some of our family,” Jackson says. “We basically went into hiding for about a year while my daughter grew out her hair to look like the girl that she is. When we emerged again, it was with a very happy and confident daughter.”

Jackson also took a moment to address some of the criticism she’s received throughout her daughter’s transition. No, she’s not pushing a liberal agenda, nor is she a parent who wanted a girl so much she would change her son.

“There’s a profound difference between wanting to be something in an imaginary play and declaring who you are,” Jackson points out. “My daughter is a girl in her heart.”

The beautiful speech (in its entirety) was posted to YouTube last week, earning Jackson much praise online.

“Awesome speech,” wrote one user. “Hopefully one day everyone will be accepted for who they are without being judged by others.”

Another added, “This woman is incredibly brave, I have nothing but respect for her.”