WASHINGTON D.C. — Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen met with transgender activist, reality TV star and Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner, Wednesday, to raise awareness for transgender issues.
Jenner, a republican, visited several GOP lawmakers at the Capitol on behalf of the American Unity Fund, an advocacy group backed by GOP donors who believe the Republican Party should be more accepting towards the LGBT community. Republican Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, whose son is transgender, has pushed for more LGBT acceptance from her own party.
“She talked about her faith and her journey and why the Republican Party should be open to hearing these kind of stories,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “We’re working on a strategy to bring that message of inclusiveness and tolerance, greater tolerance, to our party leaders.”
Ros-Lehtinen and her family have been featured in public service announcements about LGBT acceptance.
“Our son is transgender. We loved him as Amanda, and now we love him as Rodrigo,” she says in the PSA.
“Like some others, I changed gender identities since I was born,” Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen says in the PSA.
“At first we had a lot of questions, but we we love and accept our children,” Ros-Lehtinen says.
It was the first meeting between Ros-Lehtinen and Jenner, and the congresswoman said she’s excited to be teaming up with her.
“I have a transgender son, Rodrigo, who has struggled with these issues for many years,” Ros-Lehtinen said Wednesday. “It’s a message that is getting through. Caitlyn is going to continue this outreach, and I think it is a positive message.”
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