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White House Appoints First Transgender to the White House Staff

White House Appoints First Transgender to the White House Staff
President Barack Obama has demonstrated a strong show of support for the LGBT community by recently appointing a former policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality to a White House position. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan was recently appointed as an outreach and recruitment director in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.

Appointment reflects Administration's values

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is not only the first transgender, but also the first transgender of color to be appointed to a White House staff position. Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the President, stated regarding Freedman-Gurspan, "Her commitment to bettering the lives of transgender Americans, particularly transgender people of color and those in poverty, reflects the values of this administration."

The appointee was praised by many for her hard work and commitment in supporting members of the LGBT community. Her appointment reflects the support that the Obama administration has exhibited toward the LGBT community. But the appointment is not the only demonstration of support from President Obama. Other actions taken within the last two years includes:

  • Banning discrimination by federal contractors against employees because of their gender identity or sexual orientation
  • Creating a bathroom in the Eisenhower Executive Building that is gender-neutral
  • Banning therapies that target gay and transgender youth in an attempt to "fix" them

Role model 

Freedman-Gurspan has been called a role model. Her appointment was warmly welcomed and approved by community leaders and advocates.