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As a symbol of the changes taking place in Congress as Democrats control the House, one new congresswoman has put a transgender pride flag outside the door of her congressional office.
Democrat Jennifer Wexton of Virginia placed the flag outside her office in the Longworth House Office Building, NBC reported.
“The trans community has been under attack,” Wexton said, according to Time. “I wanted to show my solidarity because we are talking about my friends and family.”
Abby Carter, Wexton’s chief of staff said that Wexton is the aunt of a transgender child and put up the flag as an intentional statement.
— Rafael Brom (@cosmotone) January 6, 2019
Since Rep. Jennifer Wexton is being allowed to put a transgender flag in Congress, would they allow a Christian flag?
— Lewis Woodard (@bigguyLewis) January 6, 2019
“This is personal for me. We’re talking about my family and friends,” Wexton said in a statement. “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.”
People have noticed the flag outside my office.
This is personal for me. 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’s attacks. https://t.co/M9voVlzi55
— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) January 4, 2019
“I didn’t think putting it up would be a big deal, but I’ve received a huge outpouring of support and appreciation from the LGBT community in the past two days,” Wexton said. “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.”
The congresswoman received praise from a group that supports transgendered individuals.
“Representative Wexton has set a clear model of love and acceptance by supporting transgender people not just in the halls of Congress, but in her own family,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.
“By displaying the transgender pride flag at her office, Rep. Wexton is clearly signaling that the equality of all people should be an indispensable value for legislators and families across the country.”
Wexton said that the flag has attracted notice from passersby.
“The response has been overwhelmingly positive,” Wexton said, according to The Washington Post. “There have been some haters, but they’re in the small minority.”
Some groups said the flag is much like a beachhead in what they see as enemy territory.
“From the military to schools to hospitals, the Trump-Pence White House is working overtime in an attempt to erase trans people from the public square,” Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Charlotte Clymer said to the Washingtonian.
“The trans flag proudly on display in the Halls of Congress is a sign to our community that we will not be erased,” she said.