Amanda Simpson, a U.S. Commerce Department official who is the first transgender presidential appointee, sat down with ABC News to talk about her first day on the job, saying, "Being the first sucks."
"I'd rather not be the first but someone has to be first, or among the first," Simpson, appointed by President Obama as senior technical adviser in the department's Bureau of Industry and Security, told ABC News. "I think I'm experienced and very well qualified to deal with anything that might show up because I've broken barriers at lots of other places and I always win people over with who I am and what I can do."
She says she doesn't want to be viewed as a token who was hired more for her gender identity than her merits.
Simpson is already dealing with her fair share of criticism. This morning, Americans for Truth's Peter LaBarbera attacked her, writing, “Is there going to be a transgender quota now in the Obama administration? How far does this politics of gay and transgender activism go? Clearly this is an administration that is pandering to the gay lobby.”
Read the full interview with Simpson here.
* The Advocate has updated an earlier version of this story.