Obama Advancing Transgender Rights

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the situation in Iraq from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington June 13, 2014.

President Barack Obama has kept the administration's progress toward advancing transgender rights mostly out of the spotlight through executive orders and federal agencies, says The Associated Press. Obama is the first chief executive to say “transgender” in a speech, to name transgender political appointees, to prohibit job bias against transgender government workers, to obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and to seek access to public school restrooms and sports programs, among other things. Just this month, the Office of Personnel Management announced that government-contracted health insurers could start covering gender reassignment surgeries for federal workers, retirees and their survivors. "It's quiet by design, because the louder you are in Washington, the more the drama," said Barbara Siperstein, the first transgender person elected to the Democratic National Committee.