| News |

Obama Names First Transgender Person to Federal Post; Turns Out She's an, Um, Woman From Tucson

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

In an administration filled with firsts, President Obama's latest addition to his posse might be enough to have an uber-conservative radio host like Rush Limbaugh have an actual heart attack.

The president announced today that Amanda Simpson -- former deputy director in Advanced Technology Development at Tucson-based Raytheon Missile Systems -- would serve in his administration as a senior technical adviser to the Commerce Department.

Simpson, however, didn't always wear pant-suits and have such a feminine first name. The New York Post reports that Simpson used to be called Mitchell and was born with, um, parts not traditionally associated with her current appearance. In other words, Simpson was born a dude.

"As one of the first transgender presidential appointees to the federal government, I hope that I will soon be one of hundreds, and that this appointment opens future opportunities for many others," Simpson says in a statement.

Simpson, who ran unsuccessfully for the Arizona House of Representatives in 2006, is believed to be one of the first transgender presidential appointees, but Democratic officials tell ABC News "they're unsure if she is the very first one."

And that level of uncertainty is probably just enough to send anyone who has ever slept with a presidential appointee into their own personal Crying Game.

Simpson's, um, transformation came as she was working as a test pilot for Raytheon. She has since become a member of the National Center for Transgender Equality's board of directors and served as a delegate for Hillary Clinton at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.