Last week, Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen spoke out about family acceptance with her transgender son, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, in an interview with Telemundo.

In the segment titled “Love that Breaks Barriers,” Rodrigo described the support his parents gave him after coming out, saying, “family is family and love is love.”  Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen explained her family’s journey and that their “message is acceptance and to say, ‘look, here is your refuge.’”

Unfortunately, far too many LGBT young people lack this crucial support from their families and instead are rejected, leaving them at risk for homelessness, substance abuse, depression, and suicide.  In fact, LGBT youth comprise up to 40 percent of the homeless youth population.

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen has long been a champion of equality, earning a perfect score on the HRC Congressional Scorecard.  As one of the leading voices on LGBT equality in Congress, she has been adamant in her support for LGBT young people, including her support of non-discrimination protections, anti-bullying and harassment policies, and her opposition to the shameful practice of so-called “conversion therapy.”  

HRC is proud to work with Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen to ensure that all LGBT Americans are given the support and protections that they need to thrive.

If you are or your loved one is coming out as transgender, our Transgender Visibility Guide is designed to help. For more resources, visit

Don't miss a post

Sign up for RSS feeds

Have a news tip?

Share it with us

Community discussion

Read the guidelines