First openly transgender official hired at White House

The White House is illuminated in celebration after the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, on Friday, June 26, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) – The White House has hired its first openly transgender staff member.

The White House announced Raffi Freedman-Gurspan’s appointment on Tuesday. Freedman-Gurspan is an outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel in the Office of Personnel. Transgender advocates say she is the first openly transgender official to serve in the White House.

Freedman-Gurspan previously was a policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality’s racial and economic justice initiative.

Advocates hailed her appointment as an important step for the LGBT community and for ensuring that the federal government includes the voices and experiences of all Americans.

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett says Freedman-Gurspan’s commitment to improving the lives of transgender Americans reflects the values of the Obama administration.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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