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Rep. Mike Honda On His Transgender Granddaughter: ‘She's Beautiful'

03/05/2015 12:34 pm ET | Updated Feb 02, 2016

As a longtime supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, the fight for equality is hitting closer to home for California Rep. Mike Honda, who is embracing his transgender granddaughter with open arms.

Following a tweet about what a "proud grandfather" he is to little Malisa, Honda told HuffPost Live on Wednesday that when she was 18 months old, she started saying, "I'm a girl."

"And then when she was three years old, she said 'I'm a girl, my name is Malisa and this is how you spell it,'" Honda told host Josh Zepps, later adding. "These years of development, of persistence, insistence ... my daughter Michelle, with the family and with Malisa, indicated that they were prepared to go on this journey and that I was also prepared to do."

A visibly emotional Honda called his 8-year-old granddaughter "beautiful" and said "watching her grow up, it was a process of awe and engagement in watching a young person develop into who she is today."

The representative also encouraged parents of trans children "to work with them, to engage with them, to accept them and to create that environment where the child will grow, naturally and healthy and it works for the whole family."

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