White House Appoints First Openly Transgender Official

By Kenrya Rankin Aug 18, 2015

Today, the White House welcomes Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, its first openly transgender staffer in the nation’s history. She was appointed to the Office of Presidential Personnel and will be the outreach and recruitment director. Freedman-Gurspan, who is Latina, previously served as the policy advisor for the National Center for Transgender Equality’s Racial and Economic Justice Initiative and as the legislative director to Massachusetts State Representative Carl M. Sciortino Jr.

Diego M. Sanchez, director of policy for PFLAG National had this to say about Freedman-Gurspan’ appointment:

I am excited for Raffi and the historic value of having the first openly trans White House appointee be a woman of color, a Latina, and someone who is already actively bringing the progress we need. …As a governmental trailblazer myself, as the first openly trans senior staffer on Capitol Hill, I know that educating from the inside is key. Raffi is another example of tremendous LGBTQ standouts chosen by this administration, and it is gratifying that more trans people, including her generation and the ones that will follow, can know that their gender identity is not a deterrent, but rather a benefit that complements their professional prowess.