When Nevaeh Sotelo came out as a lesbian in 2015, she was worried about how her friends and family would react.
“It was really hard for me because I wasn’t too sure how much of my family would be accepting,” Nevaeh tells BuzzFeed News.
But the 15-year-old was surprised by the warm reaction she received saying, “after coming out, my dad has been one of my biggest supporters.”
As a way of showing his support, Nevaeh’s father Robert Sotelo went out and bought her a rainbow umbrella, emblazoned with the words ‘Be you, be true, be awesome’.
“I bought it for her because I know at her age it’s hard to be accepted in this cruel world we live in and not one moment do I want my daughter to forget that her dad loves her no matter what,” says Robert.
“I want her to know on those stormy and rainy days as she’s holding up that umbrella that I am there to protect her just like the umbrella is there to protect her from the rain.”
Nevaeh is proud of her father’s response saying, “My dad is a strong believer in equality, as am I”.
“He knows that everyone should be treated with the same respect no matter your gender, sexuality, race, or anything in between.
“He definitely is brave. He’s not afraid to speak up about things either.”
Robert says the umbrella is symbolic of the kind of person his daughter is: “A kind and loving individual who expresses herself no matter who is looking and because she is aware of who she is, and so am I.”