By Benji Douglas
Well, 2016 isn’t over yet, but Mike Honda seems to have the Grandfather of the Year Award pretty much on lock. In a new interview, the California Democratic Congressmember talks about supporting his trans granddaughter, his pride in her, and his efforts to protect LGBTQ people.
Mike’s granddaughter is 10 years old now, and she’s been saying that she’s a girl since she was less than 2 years old, which is a fairly impressive feat. At three, she identified herself as Malisa, and she’s been on a journey of acceptance ever since. Her family, obviously, has been amazing.
Honda has been a legislator for many years, and his current efforts to protect the queer community include implementing educational programs that address gender as a spectrum, rather than a binary.
That’s particularly important now, with 2016 being one of the most dangerous on record for trans people. Records indicate that at least 26 trans people have been murdered this year — and that’s not including the tragic cases that are unreported.
“It took a long time for people just to be comfortable with the idea that the LGBs need to be protected and embraced and to understand them,” Honda said. “And this is the effort that we’re trying to do to make sure that people understand that every child is different, every person is different, and they’re a gift of God.”
This article originally appeared on Queerty