United States

New Virginia Congresswoman Displays Transgender Flag Outside Her Office on First Day

"The trans flag proudly on display in the Halls of Congress is a sign to our community that we will not be erased"

One of Virginia's new congresswomen is drawing attention for putting a transgender pride flag on display outside her House office on her first day in Congress.

On Thursday, Narissa Rahaman of the Human Rights Campaign shared an image of a trans flag on display next to the Virginia flag outside Rep. Jennifer Wexton's new office on the Hill.

"...[T]his moment truly brought me to tears and it deserves to stand on its own," Rahaman wrote on Facebook.

Wexton said she displayed the flag as both a political statement and a personal statement. 

"This is personal for me," Wexton said in a statement. "We're talking about my family and friends. I want everyone in the trans community to know that they are welcome and loved even in the face of this administration and its attacks on who they are."

The representative is the aunt of a transgender child, according to a spokeswoman from her office.

The trans flag, along with the U.S. and Virginia flags, will be up outside Wexton's office indefinitely, her spokeswoman said.

A new Congress faces a two-week-old problem — the partial government shutdown. Three newly elected local members of the House took office Thursday. Scott MacFarlane reports they faced pressing business on their first night on the job.

While the LGBT rainbow flag is widely known, people might not be as familiar with the trans flag. It features five horizontal stripes: white in the middle, with pink stripes above and below, and light blue stripes bordering those.

Wexton said she didn't think displaying the flag would be a big deal, but said she's received a huge outpouring of support from the LGBT community.

"We've been receiving messages from across the country, and they've been telling me how much it means to them to see that in the halls of Congress," she said.

Rahaman, a regional field organizer for the Human Rights Campaign, told NBC Washington in an email that she was glad Wexton was drawing attention for being inclusive. 

A statement from the Human Rights Campaign read in part: "This is the most diverse congress in our nation's history, one elected by millions of Equality Voters and led by a Speaker who has spent her career fighting for the rights of LGBTQ people. The trans flag proudly on display in the Halls of Congress is a sign to our community that we will not be erased."

Wexton, a Democrat, unseated longtime Rep. Barbara Comstock, a Republican, in a heated race in Northern Virginia's 10th congressional district last fall.

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