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Tuesday, 18 August 2015
White house hires first openly transgender official for White House job.
President Barack Obama on Tuesday appointed the first openly transgender official to serve in the White House.
Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, previously a policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality, will be the outreach and recruitment director for the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.
Advocates hailed Freedman-Gurspan’s appointment as a major step for the LGBT community. Mara Keisling, NCTE’s executive director, said she was “elated.” “President Obama has long said he wants his administration to look like the American people. I have understood this to include transgender Americans,” Keisling said in a
statement. “A transgender person was inevitably going to work in the White House. That the first transgender appointee is a transgender woman of color is itself significant. And that the first White House transgender appointee is of a friend is inspiring to me and to countless others who have been touched by Raffi’s advocacy.”
The announcement is the latest step the administration has taken to demonstrate its support for gay and transgender rights. Earlier this summer, the Pentagon announced that it would lift its decades-long ban on transgender military service members. And last year, President Obama signed an executive order banning workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender government workers and contractors.