White House hires first trans­gen­der of­fi­cial for re­cruit­ment, out­reach in per­son­nel of­fice

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The White House said Tues­day it had hired its first openly trans­gen­der of­fi­cial, a move which sup­port­ers said un­der­scored the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s drive against in­equal­ity.

Of­fi­cials said for­mer ac­tivist Raffi Freedman- Gurspan be­gan work on Tues­day in a team that re­cruits per­son­nel to serve the pres­i­dent.

“Raffi Freedman- Gurspan demon­strates the kind of lead­er­ship this ad­min­is­tra­tion cham­pi­ons,” said Va­lerie Jar­rett, a se­nior ad­vi­sor to U.S. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama.

“Her com­mit­ment to bet­ter­ing the lives of trans­gen­der Amer­i­cans, par­tic­u­larly trans­gen­der peo­ple of color and those in poverty, re­flects the val­ues of this ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

Freedman-Gurspan will act as out­reach and re­cruit­ment di­rec­tor in the White House per­son­nel of­fice.

She pre­vi­ously worked on im­prov­ing con­di­tions for trans­gen­der pris­on­ers, polic­ing, the de­ten­tion of trans­gen­der im­mi­grants and vi­o­lence against trans­gen­der women.

“A trans­gen­der per­son was in­evitably go­ing to work in the White House,” said Mara Keis­ling of Freedman-Gurspan’s for­mer em­ployer the Na­tional Cen­ter for Trans­gen­der Equal­ity.

“That the first trans­gen­der ap­pointee is a trans­gen­der woman of color is it­self sig­nif­i­cant.”

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has sup­ported ef­forts to ad­vance the rights of gay, les­bian, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der Amer­i­cans, amid con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion.

Af­ter years of sit­ting on the fence, Obama him­self has voiced sup­port for gay mar­riage and praised a Supreme Court rul­ing those unions le­gal.

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