In an effort to support the LGBT community President Obama appointed the first transgender to the White House staff. Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, 28, will continue to lead and break barriers as the Outreach and Recruitment Director.
The former policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality and Racial and Economic Justice Initiative is an advocate of poverty alleviation, human rights, and desires to continue to help transgender Americans have a voice.
The New York Times reported that the hire follows other transgender hires from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Defense Department. By hiring the transgender workers, the Obama Administration is opening equality to all people, not the transgender population.
National Center for Transgender Equality shared that Obama wanted his Administration to look like the American people, and adding Freedman-Gurspan to the staff is a reflection of our country.
“That the first transgender appointee is a transgender woman of color is itself significant. And that the first White House transgender appointee is of a friend is inspiring to me and to countless others who have been touched by Raffi’s advocacy,” NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling shared in a statement. Freedman-Gurspan has spent over a decade to help those who are transgender, colored, and living in poverty. She was a vital part of NCTE “focusing experiences of transgender people of color and those living in poverty, " Keisling wrote.
“Her work included advocacy on issues such as improving the conditions for transgender prisoners, addressing biased policing against transgender communities, limiting the use of detention for undocumented transgender immigrants, and finding solutions to address violence against transgender women of color.” “This is an amazing moment in history where trans people are finally asserting themselves, and speaking up,” a NCTE video explained.
Many in the transgender community don’t have access to health care, and identity documents. With Caitlyn Jenner making her announcement of being transgender, this has given may people the courage to speak up. Jenner will also use her star power to aid others facing the same issues.
Jenner wrote on her E! blog “I'm humbled by the thousands of you who reach out to tell me your story, ask questions or provide encouragement. Even though I can't respond to each of you individually, I want you to know that I appreciate your kind gestures more than I could ever express.”
No matter how you feel about the transgender community, we all can agree everyone deserves to live with pride and dignity. We will never understand until we’ve journeyed on their path. Imagine living in a world without discrimination of any kind-- now that's remarkable, and breaks down the ultimate barrier.