Malisa Phillips is only 9 years old, but she's already an ambassador for transgender equality -- and so are the members of her family, including her maternal grandfather, U.S. Rep. Mike Honda.
Malisa appeared at an event in San Jose, Calif., over the weekend as part of the launch of Transform California, a campaign to raise awareness, understanding and acceptance of transgender and gender-nonconforming Californians. It's headed by the Transgender Law Center, Equality California, and a coalition of more than 30 other organizations.
Speaking to Cristina Rendon of Bay Area TV station KTVU, Malisa said her parents tell her "to follow my dreams and be who I am." Asked how that makes her feel, she said, "It makes me feel great inside."
While assigned male at birth, Malisa knew she was a girl when she was only 18 months old, said her mother, Michelle Honda-Phillips. "She wasn't pretending, she wasn't wanting to be, she was a girl," Honda-Phillips said.
Watch the report here; it also includes appearances by Congressman Honda, who is a longtime LGBT ally and has expressed pride in his transgender granddaughter, and Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi.