President Barack Obama has just named Raffi Freedman-Gurspan as the White House’s official LGBT liaison, marking the first time a transgender person has filled the role.
The position, officially titled Outreach and Recruitment Director of Presidential Personnel and Associate Director of Public Engagement, will see Freedman-Gurspan serving as the White House’s main point of contact for LGBT groups and issues.
Back in 2015, Freedman-Gurspan was the first appointed transgender staffer, where she served as the director of outreach and recruitment within the presidential personnel office. Prior to her work in the nation’s most important house, Freedman-Gurspan served as a Massachusetts House of Representatives policy adviser.
“Raffi is a great choice,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said. “President Obama has said he wants his administration to look like America, and they have moved to include trans Americans. Raffi’s skills and personality make her the exact right person for this important job.”
The Human Rights Campaign’s senior vice president of policy and political affairs, JoDee Winterhof, also gave the appointment and Freedman-Gurspan their vote of confidence.
“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,” Winterhof said.
This article first appeared at Paste Magazine on March 14, 2016.