Raffi Freedman-Gurspan: The First Trans Person in the White House

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan: The First Trans Person in the White House

Amanda Capote, Staff Writer

In 2015, there have already been monumental steps toward a better world for the LGBT community. However, history was made a few days ago when Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, an openly transgender woman, was employed at the White House. This makes Freedman-Gurspan the first transgender person to work directly for the president of the United States.

Before this promotion,  Freedman-Gurspan was a policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality. She also worked in the Massachusetts State House, being the first open transgender person there as well, Freedman-Girspan made headlines.

Now, she will go on to work as the new outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel in Washington, D.C.

In an interview with The Washington Journal, senior presidential advisor Valerie Jarrett stated, “Her commitment to bettering the lives of transgender Americans, particularly transgender people of color and those in poverty, reflects the values of this administration.”

Although his second term is coming to a close, Obama is showing more of a favor towards the LGBT community with help from the judicial branch. Just this June, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all fifty states.

When asked about this progress, Wellington High Alumni Angelica Capote replied, “Even though this is great progress, it’s only scratching the surface. Queer people, especially youths, are still unsafe and ridiculed in their everyday lives.”

Despite the developments already made, there is still a long way to go to ensure the safety of transgender people living in America.

According to Patheos, a progressive Christian website, 1 in 12 transgender people are murdered each year. Above all other minorities, sexualities, and genders, transgender people are targeted the most for hate crimes and discrimination.

With women like Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, and Raffi Freedman-Gurspan in power, political or not, progress will continue to be made.