President Obama appoints 1st transgender White House staff member

Photo Credit: Raffi Freedman-Gurspan's Facebook (raffi.freedmangurspan)
Photo credit: Raffi Freedman-Gurspan’s Facebook (raffi.freedmangurspan)

President Obama has spent the last few years, pushing harder than any previous president for greater LGBT rights and representation in our nation. And Obama continued his platform of equality this week when he appointed the first openly transgender person to his White House staff.

In an announcement released on Tuesday, it was revealed that Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, a former policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality, was hired as the new outreach and recruitment director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

“President Obama has long said he wants his administration to look like the American people. I have understood this to include transgender Americans,” NCTE executive director Mara Keisling said. “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.”

And it seems like the White House staff is excited to have Freedman-Gurspan on board as well.

“Raffi Freedman-Gurspan demonstrates the kind of leadership this administration champions,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the president. “Her commitment to bettering the lives of transgender Americans, particularly transgender people of color and those in poverty, reflects the values of this administration.”

Big congratulations are in order for Freedman-Gurspan and we hope Obama continues to bring about positive change during the rest of his final term.

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