Caitlyn Jenner: 'I won't give up hope' on Republican Party

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — Caitlyn Jenner came to Cleveland on a mission to help her fellow Republicans better understand the transgender community.

Jenner described herself as a longtime Republican in a Q&A at a Wednesday morning gathering hosted by the LGBT-focused American Unity Fund on day three of the Republican National Convention. Jenner joked that in the world of Hollywood: "It was easy to come out as trans. It was harder for me to come out as Republican."

Jenner's decision to come out as a transgender woman last year has helped amplify mainstream awareness of the transgender community and its battle for equal protection under the law. Jenner has become a high-profile advocate for LGBT issues, and she has a big platform through her E! reality series "I am Cait."

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Caitlyn Jenner out and about
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 28: TV personality Caitlyn Jenner arrives at the 2016 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 14: Chris Rock, A. J. Calloway and Caitlyn Jenner attend the 2016 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute to Industry Icons honoring Irving Azoff at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 14, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Caitlyn Jenner is seen on February 10, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ignat/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Caitlyn Jenner is seen on the streets of Manhattan on February 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/GC Images)
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA - FEBRUARY 02: Executive Producer Caitlyn Jenner speaks at the AOL 2016 MAKERS conference at Terranea Resort on February 2, 2016 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 14: Tv personality Candis Cayne (L) and executive producer/tv personality Caitlyn Jenner speak onstage during the 'I Am Cait' panel discussion at the NBCUniversal portion of the 2016 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 14, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 04: Caitlyn Jenner Hosts Special Screening Of 'Tangerine' at Landmark Nuart Theatre on January 4, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
Caitlyn Jenner speaks to the Chicago House luncheon at the Hilton Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner attends Glamour's 25th Anniversary Women Of The Year Awards at Carnegie Hall on November 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 08: Caitlyn Jenner seen at the Soho House for dinner on November 08, 2015 in New York, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: Caitlyn Jenner seen leaving 'Therese Raquin' on Broadway in Midtown on November 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Caitlyn Jenner attends Logo TV's 'Beautiful As I Want To Be' web series launch party at The Standard Hotel on October 27, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: (L-R) Chandi Moore, Candis Cayne, Caitlyn Jenner and Geena Rocero attend Logo TV's 'Beautiful As I Want To Be' Web Series Launch Party at The Standard Hotel on October 27, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 27: Caitlyn Jenner attends Logo TV's 'Beautiful As I Want To Be' Web Series Launch Party at The Standard Hotel on October 27, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 03: TV personality and activist Caitlyn Jenner speaks onstage during the Point Foundation's Annual Voices On Point Gala at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on October 3, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for The Point Foundation)
PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - SEPTEMBER 12: Caitlyn Jenner attends the 8th Annual Safety Harbor Kids Polo Classic Fundraiser at Will Rogers State Historic Park on September 12, 2015 in Pacific Palisades, California. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: Caitlyn Jenner is seen on September 03, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Caitlyn Jenner attends Culture Club's performance at the Greek Theatre on July 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Nederlander)
Photo by: Joel Mark/STAR MAX/IPx ©2015 7/16/15 Caitlyn Jenner at The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. (Del Mar, CA)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 24: Caitlyn Jenner introduces Boy George and Culture Club at The Greek Theatre on July 24, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tibrina Hobson/WireImage)
Caitlyn Jenner accepts the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the ESPY Awards at the Microsoft Theater on Wednesday, July 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 29: Caitlyn Jenner is seen in Tribeca on June 29, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Alo Ceballos/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Caitlyn Jenner arrives at Patrica Field store in Soho on June 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Caitlyn Jenner is seen coming out of Patricia Field store in New York City on June 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Caitlyn Jenner is seen on June 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by NCP/Star Max/GC Images)
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Jenner said she's been "disappointed" in the Republican party's platform during the past 10 years. Other speaks at the event, held in a tent outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, called this year's GOP platform "downright hostile" to LGBT concerns.

"I want to help the Republican party in so many ways,"Jenner said. "I think our best move to get back to a constitutional government is in the Republican party. I won't give up hope on it."

Jenner took specific aim at the slew of anti-LGBT legislative efforts in many states to restrict bathroom usage by gender. Jenner called it a "non-issue" and noted that more Republican legislators have been arrested for lewd acts in public bathrooms in recent years than there have been arrests of transgender people.

"Maybe we should ban Republican representatives at the state level from being in bathrooms," she quipped.

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