Diego Sanchez became the first openly transgender person to work on Capitol Hill, where he worked as a legislative assistant for Barney Frank in 2009. Sanchez was also the first transgender person on the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) Platform Committee in 2008.
Sanchez was born into a military family in Panama . Sanchez graduated from the University of Georgia starting working at the public-relations giant Burson-Marsteller in New York City. Sanchez went on to work for the Coca Cola Company, ITT Sheraton and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, where he rose to be the global vice president of communications and diversity.Sanchez left Starwood. At 41, he took the year off, in part to spend more time with his ailing father. After his father dies, he worked at the Justice Resource Institute on LGBT health issues, including the TransHealth Program, and then at AIDS Action Council in Washington and AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts in Boston. Sanchez joined Frank's legislative team at a time when having a transgender staffer was certain to raise eyebrows – as often from the members of the LGBT community who were suspicious of Frank's actions regarding transgender inclusion in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) as from co-workers in other offices on Capitol Hill.
LGBT History Month celebrates the achievements of many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who have contributed significantly in several ways to the advancement of our community. Limited by the number of days on the calendar, showcasing every individual who has made a major impact would be difficult. Yet, across decades and eras, revolutions and wars, and discovery and enlightenment, SPART*A honors past and present LGBT figures in our history this month.