NCTE Policy Advisor Becomes First Openly Trans White House Official

By |2015-08-27T09:00:00-04:00August 27th, 2015|National, News|


WASHINGTON D.C. – National Center for Transgender Equality staff member Raffi Freedman-Gurspan has been appointed as an outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.
Freedman-Gurspan is the first openly transgender official in history to serve in the White House. She previously served as NCTE’s policy advisor for the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative.
“I am elated that Raffi Freedman-Gurspan will become the first openly transgender staff member at the White House,” NCTE Executive Director Mara Keisling said. “President Obama has long said he wants his administration to look like the American people. I have understood this to include transgender Americans. A transgender person was inevitably going to work in the White House. 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.”
Freedman-Gurspan has a decade of experience working for NCTE, and Keisling says she has been a vital part of NCTE focusing on the experiences of trans people of color and those living in poverty. She has worked on advocacy for issues such as improving the conditions of trans prisoners, addressing biased policing against trans communities, limiting the use of detention for undocumented trans immigrants and finding solutions to address violence against trans women of color.
“Transgender people face harsh inequalities when seeking jobs, housing, safety, healthcare and a pathway to citizenship. Raffi and NCTE have led a national conversation about these issues, and we’re proud to support their work,” said Courtney Cuff, president and CEO of the Gill Foundation. “As the first openly transgender person to work for the White House, Raffi’s appointment is another important step toward ensuring our federal government fully includes the voices and experiences of our communities. We’re confident that Raffi will continue the Obama Administration’s strong record of appointing qualified openly LGBT public servants to positions across the federal government.”

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