The White House made good on its promises to tackle transgender issues and appointed its first openly transgender staff member to the Office of Presidential Personnel this Monday reports The Wall Street Journal.
Former trans advocacy and policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Racial & Economic Justice Initiative Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is now taking the role of outreach and recruitment director for the president’s personnel office, overseeing presidential appointments and recruiting candidates for services within the government.
Gay former Massachusetts lawmaker and Executive Director of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts applauded the White House’s appointment of Freedman-Gurspan and lauded her achievements:
“Among her many contributions, she was instrumental in helping pass the Transgender Equal Rights Law. I am proud to see her continue to lead by example, as she takes her voice and her passion to the White House. Her hiring is a symbol of progress for the transgender community, but without a doubt I know it will be her skill and hard work that will benefit many.”
Although the Obama administration already has several transgender people employed in federal government positions, Freedman-Gurspan is the first official transgender White House staffer employed by the federal government.
President Obama’s appointment of Freedman-Gurspan comes at a critical time as violent incidents against transgender people have accelerated in the month of August alone and increased overall from last year. Obama was also heckled in June at a Pride event by a transgender attendee calling for justice for deported trans individuals.
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