President Obama has hired the first White House transgender staffer. Raffi Freedman-Gurspa was appointed as the Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel on Tuesday. Freedman-Gurspa, 28, was previously known as Rafael and is an orphan from Honduras who grew up in Massachusetts.
Raffi Freedman-Gurspa was a National Center for Transgender Equality policy adviser focusing on economic justice and racial justice issues, according to a Daily Mail report. The appointment of the first White House transgender staffer sparked controversy and online backlash almost immediately after following the announcement by the Obama administration.
LGBT advocates have hailed the Freedman-Gurspa White House appointment as a win and an "important step." Senior Obama adviser Valerie Jarret said the new hire is committed to improving the lives of other transgender people and "reflects the values" of the Barack Obama administration.