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In an interview earlier this week, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen shared her support for her transgender son.

 Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) told WFOR, "As parents, we wanted to make sure that Rigo understood that we’re totally fine with it and that we wanted to make sure that he was safe."

Rodrigo, 28, also sat down with his mother for his first television interview.

“I think coming out as transgender is really about coming out as your authentic self, coming out as the person you always knew you were but no one else may have known,” he told WFOR. “And now you are sharing that honesty with other people for the first time.”

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen is not only an LGBT advocate for her family, but for her constituents as well.  She has long been one of the most outspoken and steadfast champions for the LGBT community within the Republican Party.  She received a 100 on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for the 113th Congress, and she is the lead Republican sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Respect for Marriage Act, the Student Non-Discrimination Act and many other pieces of pro-equality legislation.   

Coming out -- whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or allied -- is a deeply personal journey. As a parent of an openly trans child, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen has embraced this journey and is sharing her lesson with others.

“Love your child because that person is your child whether it’s the person you wanted him or her to be or not,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “That’s my advice to parents, never, never reject your child. That’s unconditional love no matter what.”

Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion -- from fear to euphoria. Learn more at HRC’s Coming Out Center.

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