Over the weekend, the Associated Press ran a piece celebrating the many transgender-inclusive advances President Barack Obama's administration has made. While some of these policy shifts have gone largely unrecognized in mainstream news, the changes are many:
1. Obama is the first chief executive to say "transgender" in a public speech.
2. Obama is the first to name transgender political appointees.
3. Obama is the first to prohibit job bias against transgender government workers.
4. The first federal civil rights protection for transgender people in U.S. history was a hate crime legislation signed in by Obama.
5. The executive branch has made it easier for transgender people to update their passports, obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, get treatment at Veterans' Administration facilities, and seek access to public school restrooms and sports programs.
6. Obama is the only president to invite transgender children to participate in the annual Easter egg roll at the White House.
7. The Office of Personnel Management announced that government-contracted health insurers could start covering the cost of gender reassignment surgeries for federal employees, retirees, and their survivors, which ended a 40-year prohibition.
8. The Department of Health and Human Services reversed a policy that prevented Medicare from financing transgender healthcare services.
9. Obama plans to sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
10. The U.S. Education Department extended Title IX, the law that bans gender discrimination in education, to protect transgender students, and President Obama backed that action.
These make up a large part of why Mara Keisling, executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality said about Obama, "He has been the best president for transgender rights, and nobody else is in second place."
Diego Sanchez, the first openly transgender person appointed to the DNC's platform committee, has said that Obama, as president, not only promised to, but has embraced the task of fighting discrimination based on gender identity.