The Trans Man Who’s Making Trans Men Less Scary on Capitol Hill


You’ll want to remember Diego Sanchez’s name, because he’s the transgender fella who’s going to get a back slap from Rep. Barney Frank when Congress finally passes a trans-inclusive ENDA. It helps that Sanchez is one of Frank’s senior policy advisers and has been squirreling away at the anti-discrimination bill.

Reportedly the first openly transgender congressional staffer, Sanchez has been integral in putting a face on trans Americans for other legislators. He’s the one putting in time with the offices of Frank’s fellow lawmakers, which the Massachusetts congressman believes will be key to killing opposition to ENDA solely for including the the Ts.

Sanchez’s strategy, besides standard intra-office lobbying (back scratching! favor trading!), is just like marriage equality advocates: Put in the face time to show your opponents that you’re just like them, and it’s harder for them to treat you as sub-human.

You see, sometimes having LGBTs as top aides makes you a gay-friendlier politician. And sometimes not.

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  • Diego

    As a longtime big fan of Queerty, I noticed this today. I am not the first transgender person to serve a member of Congress. That moniker belongs to a transgender woman in a District office of a Republican Senator.

    I am the first openly transgender person to work on Capitol Hill, and Congressman Frank is the first member of Congress to hire an opely transgender person to work in a Capitol Hill as a staffer.

    Every one of us doing important work to get this bipartisan, fully inclusive ENDA bill passed in both the House and Senate. Keep the pressure up, and let’s get this done together. It takes us all, so rev up your pals, parents, colleagues, etc. and ask them to join us.

    For the record, I am also one of those marriage equality advocates, and I’m proud to have been involved intimately from the very beginning with those initiatives in my home state of Massachusetts, where we prevailed. We won because EVERYONE did their part, and even unlikely allies were asked to join us.

    Sometimes (not always), all we need to to to engage others with us is to take the time to ask them as we tell them about our lives and let them get to know us better. Keep it up, y’all. Diego

  • Rick



    As the recently passed Senator Kennedy said “The work begins anew. The hope rises again. And the dream lives on.”

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