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First Openly Transgender Official Hired at White House

Surrounded by LGBT supporters, President Barack Obama signs executive orders to protect LGBT employees from federal workplace discrimination, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, July 21, 2014.

The White House has for the first time hired an openly transgender staff member.

Officials say Raffi Freedman-Gurspan will serve as an outreach and recruitment director in the White House's personnel office. She 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 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] community and for ensuring that the federal government includes the voices and experiences of all Americans.

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

The administration has appointed openly transgender people into federal positions before, but not as White House staffers, reported the Washington Blade.