The White House appoints first transgender person as LGBT liaison

Get to know Raffi Freedman-Gurspan.

The White House has just appointed her its main LGBT liaison, Buzzfeed reports. She’s the first transgender person in the role.

Last year, Freedman-Gurspan, who is both Latina and Jewish, was made the outreach and recruitment director in the presidential personnel office.

Now, she’ll be the White House’s primary contact point for LGBT groups across issues.

“Raffi is a great choice,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, where Freedman-Gurspan was previously a policy adviser. (She was also legislative director in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.)

“President Obama has said he wants his administration to look like America, and they have moved to include trans Americans,” said Keisling. “Raffi’s skills and personality make her the exact right person for this important job.”

For the past two decades, the Advocate reports, the role of White House LGBT liaison has been held either by a straight person or a cisgender gay person.

It also notes that Freedman-Gurspan, whose work has been cited for connecting transgender issues to those of racial and economic justice, is the latest of several transgender people who have been appointed throughout the Obama administration.



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