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"The community was forced to decide: Where are you going to stand?" recalled Diego Sanchez, who was the first openly transgender person appointed to the DNC’s platform committee and later became the first transgender staff member on Capitol Hill as Frank’s top senior policy adviser.
At the 2008 Democratic convention where Obama was nominated, 28 years after the party pledged to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation, language was added to accomplish the same for gender identity.
As president, Obama has embraced the task of putting that pledge into practice, said Sanchez, now national policy director at Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
"It’s easier for voices to be heard once you are already in the room," he said. "What has changed is who is listening."
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