President Barack Obama has appointed the first openly transgender White House staff member on Tuesday, according to reports. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, a former policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality, has been hired to serve as the outreach and recruitment director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.
Community leaders and advocates are excited about the administration’s decision.
“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 told CNN. “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.”
This is one of many steps that the president’s administration has taken to be more inclusive of the LGBT community including, banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, creating a gender-neutral bathroom in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, and more.