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White House Hires First Transgender Official Raffi Freedman-Gurspan As Recruitment Director

19/08/2015 11:50 BST | Updated 19/08/2015 12:59 BST

History has been made at the White House after it hired its first ever transgender member of staff. The move saw Raffi Freedman-Gurspan appointed as an Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel.

A senior White House official said that Freedman-Gurspan's commitment to transgender rights reflects "the values of this administration" and the move represents another positive step for LGBT equality under President Barack Obama's leadership.

The announcement is a poignant piece of news for the trans community and is a reminder that they have not been forgotten after Obama's administration crafted historical legislation for gay, lesbian and bisexuals, successfully passing same-sex marriage across the country.

white house rainbow

The White House was illuminated in rainbow colours to celebrate the Supreme court's ruling on the legalisation of same-sex marriage

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to the President, said in a statement: "Raffi Freedman-Gurspan demonstrates the kind of leadership this administration champions."

Many are speculating that the appointment of Freedman-Gurspan could help to influence current transgender discrimination issues in American policy. This is based on the fact that Freedman-Gurspan has previously worked as a policy adviser for the National Center for Transgender Equality (NTCE).

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Raffi Freedman-Gurspan has been appointed Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel

Her appointment comes at a time when the Department of Defense is reviewing the current ban on trans men and women from serving in the military.

Aisha Moodie-Mills, the head of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and Institute said: "Our government works best when it reflects the reality of who we are as Americans."

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In Britain, there haven't yet been any serving transgender MPs and it's not known if there are any openly transgender people working in top positions within the Government. In 2011 a Labour candidate, Emily Brothers, made headlines as the first trans person to stand for election.

And although not serving at the time, in 2013, ex-UKIP MEP Nikki Sinclaire came out as transgender. In 2010 she was expelled from the party for allegations of sexism.