Newly-elected U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) placed a transgender flag outside of her office on Capitol Hill on Thursday, the day she was officially sworn into Congress.
Narissa Rahaman, a regional field organizer for the Human Rights Campaign, was the first to draw attention to the flag, which is displayed alongside the Virginia state flag. Rahaman said seeing the flag “brought me to tears.”
“The congresswoman said to me, ‘Did you see the flag?! I think we’re the only office on the Hill with one,'” Rahaman wrote in a Facebook post. “Thank you to everyone who knocked a door and made a phone call on this campaign. This flag is there because of you and for you! My heart is full.”
“The trans community has been under attack,” Wexton said in a statement to The Hill. “I wanted to show my solidarity because we are talking about my friends and family.”
Wexton, who represents Virginia’s 10th District, which covers parts of Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Clarke, and Frederick counties and the independent cities of Manassas and Winchester, defeated two-term Republican Barbara Comstock in November by a nearly 12-point margin.
The two women candidates, who had both served in the Virginia General Assembly — Comstock in the House of Delegates, Wexton in the Senate — clashed over several issues during the campaign, including health care, gun reform measures, the president’s tax cuts for high-income earners, reproductive rights, and LGBTQ rights. The Human Rights Campaign officially endorsed Wexton’s campaign and sent volunteers to assist in knocking on doors and urging supporters to go to the polls on Election Day.
During her four years in the Virginia Senate, Wexton was a reliable vote in favor of expanding protections for LGBTQ Virginians, and personally sponsored a bill to prohibit discrimination in housing. She also supported a measure to expand the state’s hate crimes statute to include crimes motivated by anti-LGBTQ animus.
“Jennifer Wexton is a proven leader who will stand up in the U.S. Congress for Virginia’s working families and help pull the emergency brakes on the Trump-Pence administration’s reckless agenda,” JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s senior vice president for policy and political affairs, said in a statement.