Transman Making a Difference on Capital Hill.
Diego Sanchez is used to being labeled "the first transgender," and he doesn't mind. He's happy to pave the way.
"If no one is first, then there can't be a second," jokes Sanchez, 52, who—yes—is the first transgender person hired for a senior congressional position on Capitol Hill and is busy tackling healthcare reform and employment-discrimination issues as an aide to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
Sanchez's extensive résumé boasts 30 years of award-winning experience in global public relations and diversity management at leading companies such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, No. 19 on The 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity® list, as well as decades of social justice and civil-rights advocacy.
Sanchez was the luncheon keynote speaker at DiversityInc's November leadership conference in New York. To attend DiversityInc's next event, "How Diversity Management Drives Employee Engagement," click here.
Sanchez was born a girl in 1957 and knew from a very early age that he should have been born a boy. When Sanchez was five, he told his parents that he felt he was born wrong—then braced himself for the punishment he expected would surely follow. It never did. Instead, his mother left the room and returned with a copy of Life Magazine, featuring a story on Christine Jorgensen—the first transsexual in the United States to publicly announce her change of sexual identity.