Obama Appoints 'Trans Woman' to Commerce Department; Gays Hail His 'Rocket Pace' of Diversity

The New York Daily News reports:

Amanda Simpson, who used to be test pilot Mitchell Simpson, will make a bit of history Tuesday as she starts work as a senior technical advisor at the Commerce Department.

"As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds," Simpson said in a statement.

Simpson, 49, underwent a sex change about a decade ago while working in Tucson for Raytheon Missile Systems, where she rose to the job of deputy director.

Michael Jones at gayrights.change.org is excited at the breaking of a "transgender glass ceiling" by Obama:

According to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Obama has appointed close to 100 openly LGBT folks to his administration, which is a rocket-style pace that is set to eclipse even the Clinton administration (which appointed 140 openly LGBT folks over the span of the Clinton presidency).

Simpson is clearly going to bring aggressively that "diversity process" into government. From her perch at Raytheon, Simpson was a diversity evangelist:

There truly is a great deal of education to be done on so many levels. The nuances of gender identity or expression are many and are mostly misunderstood -- even by those who seemingly 'get it': But with this change comes momentous opportunity. Raytheon continues to demonstrate its commitment to diversity and building an inclusive culture. All employees, current and future, will benefit by the commitment to an open expression of ideas and the basic foundation that they are valued by the company for their contribution to the success of Raytheon.

Jake Tapper has blogged this, but as of this morning, there is nothing yet in the Transcripts field in Nexis.

New York Daily News Amanda Simpson
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