On November 20, 2012, MTPC Executive Director Gunner Scott and forty leaders from state, local, national and international transgender organizations met with John Berry, director of the US Office of Personnel Management and the highest ranking openly gay person in President Barack Obama’s administration. The meeting also included Gautam Raghavan, associate director in the Office of Public Engagement, and other White House staff. This historic meeting was to mark the Fourteenth Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance and to discuss ways in which the president’s administration, transgender leaders and allies can work together to ensure dignity, equality and justice for transgender youth, adults and our families.
In his first term, the Obama administration has been enacting positive policy changes including a sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination employment policy for the president’s administration; appointing four talented, openly transgender people; adding sexual-orientation and gender-identity non-discrimination provisions for federal employees and HUD-funded housing programs; and issuing new rules for passport gender-marker changes. In addition, in May 2011 the Office of Personnel Management issued guidance regarding transgender employees in the federal workplace.
“I felt very honored to be included in this meeting with the Obama administration and with other state, national and international transgender leaders,” said Gunner Scott, MTPC’s executive director. “We each addressed issues that are concerning to the transgender communities and provided possible solutions. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to speak on the impact of homelessness on our transgender youth, adults and families and to bring that message to the administration.”
The meeting opened with Berry leading a moment of silence in remembrance of the transgender women and men who have been victims of violence over the past year. The meeting closed with White House staff reaffirming President Obama’s commitment to preventing violence against all people, including all members of the LGBT community.
See the White House press release about this meeting: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/11/20/transgender-day-remembrance