Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Appears in Pro-Trans Ad With Her Transgender Son

Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Appears in Pro-Trans Ad With Her Transgender Son
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida is breaking away from the anti-gay and anti-trans rhetoric that resonates within the GOP base, amid a debate about transgender bathroom laws.

It's because Ros-Lehtinen's son, Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, is transgender. He told his parents about his change of gender identity years ago and left home, thinking they would not accept him, according to the New York Times.

But to Heng-Lehtinen's surprise, they accepted him and ordered him to come home. Fast forward several years — the entire family has cut a 60-second PSA urging support for SAVE, a Miami-are LGBTQ rights and advocacy organization.

Source: Mic/SAVE

"Family is everything," the congresswoman said in the ad, which was officially launched Monday. 

Source: Mic/SAVE

Then, Heng-Lehtinen talks about the need to support transgender people so they can lead productive lives without the fear of persecution and discrimination.

Source: Mic/SAVE

Dexter Lehtinen, a former federal prosecutor in Miami, said that his son and others in the transgender community should be given the opportunity to be responsible and accountable for their own lives.

Source: Mic/SAVE

"Every transgender person is part of someone's family and should be treated with compassion and protected from discrimination," the congresswoman added.

Watch the full ad here:

Source: YouTube

Ros-Lehtinen isn't the first high-profile Republican to break from her party on LGBTQ rights and other social issues.

In 2013, Former Vice President Dick Cheney famously came out in support of same-sex marriage because his daughter is an out lesbian.

If what Ros-Lehtinen has done becomes a trend, Republicans who have promised to mimic North Carolina's bathroom bill may soon find out they're standing on the wrong side of history — just as they were on the issue of same-sex marraige.