President Obama hired a openly transgender official at the White House, marking an important step in his relationship with the LGBT activist community.
Raffi Freedman-Gurspan began working at the White House this week, according to the Washington Blade, and was previously a a policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality. Freedman-Gurspan was hired to work at the White House personal office as the director of outreach and recruitment.
Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett praised Obama’s decision in a statement as “the kind of leadership this administration champions.”
“Her commitment to bettering the lives of transgender Americans, particularly transgender people of color and those in poverty, reflects the values of this administration,” Ms. Jarrett said.
Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality praised the decision not only because of Freedman-Gurspan’s open transgender identity, but also because of race.
“That the first transgender appointee is a transgender woman of color is itself significant,” Keisling said. “And that the first White House transgender appointee is a friend is inspiring to me and to countless others who have been touched by Raffi’s advocacy.”