As a lifelong Republican, Caitlyn Jenner wants the GOP to openly embrace the transgender community. On Wednesday, the I Am Cait
star, who has been making the rounds in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention
, talked politics and more at the Big Tent Brunch event hosted by the American Unity Fund
Jenner discussed her hopes for the country, as well as her experience coming out as a transgender, and prefaced the speech with a disclaimer: "Everything I'm going to say is my opinion, I do not speak for the trans community," she said. "I speak for myself."
When asked if she was a "real Republican," the 66-year-old former athlete, born Bruce Jenner, joked that revealing her political affiliation was harder than announcing her transition. "It was easy to come out as trans, it was harder to come out as Republican," she said as the crowd laughed.
Though anti-gay legislation like North Carolina's controversial bathroom law
and Georgia's "religious liberty
" bill, were spearheaded by GOP lawmakers, Jenner feels the party just needs to be better educated on LGBTQ issues. "I think the Republican party needs to understand, they need to know people who are trans," she said. "There's actually trans people out in this audience right now, that you don't know are trans."
The ex-Olympian-turned-activist explained that her loyalty to the GOP stems from her late father, William Jenner, a member of the 5th Range Battalion. "Thinking if my dad knew what was going on with this country when he fought so hard, and so many people died around him…I think he would be very disappointed," she said, holding back tears. "Because of that, I feel like our best hope is to get back to constitutional government, is in the Republican Party."
While Jenner didn't hesitate to reveal that she's been disappointed in the Republican Party over the last decade, she's not losing faith in America's future. "I'm not giving up on this country, I'm not giving up on our Constitution," she added.
After the event, Jenner tweeted out a photo with moderator Margaret Hoover. "Great Q&A this morning with @MargaretHoover," she wrote.
Find out what made Jenner change her views on the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, in the video below.