A December 11 meeting between members of President-elect Barack Obama's transition team and dozens of gay and lesbian activists has fueled speculation of openly gay appointments in an Obama administration.

With half the senior White House staff chosen, gay activists have increased their concern over the lack of a gay appointment to a cabinet level position.

And while no openly gay, bisexual or transgender person has ever served in one of the fifteen cabinet secretary positions, gay activists believe they have a strong case this year.

“I think there's a growing sense in this community that they expect to be part of this administration in a very substantial way,” Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund Spokesperson Denis Dison told gay monthly The Advocate. “A lot of people really do expect that in the very near future we should have an openly LGBT cabinet secretary. But obviously, there are throughout the administration, opportunities for people to both serve and affect policy.”

With over 100 openly LGBT officials elected nationwide in November, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is coming off its most successful election season ever.

Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, made it clear to the Obama transition team that he felt the political aspirations of the gay community had not yet been fully realized: “We have paid our political dues, but still have not benefited greatly from that.”

“[I]n the spirit of honest communication, if America's promise is going to apply to all Americans it is time that LGBT people be appointed to the cabinet and to the highest ranks of government service,” he told members of President-elect Obama's transition team.

The Obama administration will likely make about 3,000 appointments – many coming after Obama's January inauguration – but most Washington watchers believe the remaining cabinet positions will be decided upon by Christmas.

Names most often cited as likely candidates to high-ranking positions include former Interior Department Assistant Secretary for Policy Management and Budget John Berry, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Energy and Development Nancy Sutley, American Rights at Work Executive Director Mary Beth Maxwell, and prominent constitutional law scholar Tobias Wolff.

Maxwell is being considered for Secretary of Labor, while Smithsonian National Zoo Director Berry is in the running for Secretary of the Interior.

Sutley served as a member of Hillary Clinton's LGBT steering committee during the Democratic primary race; Wolff served President-elect Obama in a similar capacity throughout the presidential campaign.

Gay activists point out that many gay-affirming, high-ranking appointments already announced – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Daschle and Secretary of Commerce Bill Richardson included – may also result in gains for the gay and lesbian community as they appoint sub-cabinet positions and create a gay-friendly atmosphere.

“Young Americans need to know that this country's promise applies to them – that they can achieve success, and have a voice in their government, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression,” Wolfe said.