Today, President Obama appointed openly transgender woman Raffi Freedman-Gurspan as the White House’s LGBT liaison. She is first transgender person to have the job.
Freedman-Gurspan, formerly of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), was appointed as Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel in August 2015.
“We believe it is a tremendous decision by the White House to recognize Raffi’s leadership as well as the importance of having transgender leadership in an important role for the community,” HRC Senior Vice President, Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof told Buzzfeed.
President Clinton created the role in 1995 but it was not continued during the Bush Administration. Other leaders who served in the role under the Obama Administration include Aditi Hardikar, Gautam Raghavan and Brian Bond.
This move comes at a significant point for members of the transgender community. While leaders, advocates and celebrities are breaking barriers and creating visibility like never before, members of the transgender community continue to experience high levels of anti-transgender violence and discrimination around the globe.
HRC congratulates Freedman-Gurspan on this immense honor and looks forward to working with her and the Obama Administration.