Tag Archives: politics

LGBT History Month – Day 25 – Amanda Simpson

Into politics for day 25, Amanda Simpson (1961 – ) is the first transgender lady to be appointed to the White House administration.

amanda simpson

Previous to being in politics at the highest level, Simpson participated in the Bates Aeronautics Program while a student at Harvey Mudd College. She earned her single engine land private pilot’s license in 1981, a commercial pilot’s license with instrument privileges in 1983, and became a certified flight instructor – airplane in 1988 and an instrument instructor in 1989. In 1988 she added a multi-engine class rating to her commercial license to qualify for transfer to Hughes Missile Systems as a project test engineer and pilot. Simpson upgraded to an Airline Transport Pilot’s (ATP) license in 1994 after adding multi-engine to her flight instructor ratings in 1991. In 1997 she added single-engine sea (float planes and flying boats) to her ATP license. In 2005 she became one of only a few licensed pilots flying FAA-certified unmanned aircraft in the national airspace system.

As of 2009, she has flown over 60 different makes and models of aircraft and has accumulated over 2700 flight hours.

In late 2009, Simpson accepted an appointment by the Obama Administration, where she served as the Senior Technical Adviser to the Bureau of Industry and Security. In July 2011, Simpson was reposted to the Pentagon, following this, she was detailed to the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, where she served as the Deputy Executive Director until January 2014, when she was named the Executive Director by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & Environment (ASA-IEE) In September 2015, Simpson was sworn in as the first Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy.

You can read an interview with her here: http://www.refinery29.com/amanda-simpson-army-transgender-interview

LGBT History Month – Day 15 – Barbara Jordan

For our 15th, it’s Barbara Jordan (1936 – 1996):

barbara jordan

Barbara Jordan was an American politician, the first African-American to be elected to the Texas State Senate and the first southern black women to be elected to the House of Representatives, the first African-American representative of a former Confederate state. A strong advocate for civil rights, Jordan fought for the establishment of a minimum wage and was a fierce defender of the US Constitution. She was strongly tipped for a position in the Supreme Court, but sadly was afflicted by multiple sclerosis, which rendered her unable to serve in that capacity.

In the 1960s, while on a camping trip, Jordan had met Nancy Earl, who would be her partner for the next twenty years, and they settled in a home they built themselves in Austin, Texas. Jordan never publicly declared herself a lesbian – the House of Representatives website simply says that she “never married and carefully guarded her private life” – but following her death in 1996, President Bill Clinton and Texas Governor Anne Richards both expressed specific sympathies to Nancy Earl, and the information was discussed publicly by the media in the days following.

LGBT activists at the time expressed regret that Jordan never came out publicly during her life. Many asserted that, given her political stature and the esteem in which the nation held her, she could have done so with little harm to herself. But we must assume she had her reasons. Perhaps she simply judged that the political climate was not right; perhaps she simply felt it wasn’t state business. In any case, her legacy is that of a hard-working, hard-fighting advocate of civil rights.

To read more about Barbara you can click here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Jordan and here http://www.biography.com/people/barbara-jordan-9357991#synopsis.