Vermont’s first out transgender lawmaker (and Woman We Love 2021) Taylor Small is engaged.
Small announced her engagement to partner Carsen Russell on Instagram Friday. Although the announcement came later in the week, Russell proposed to Small on the lawn of the White House, after the two traveled to Washington D.C. for Biden’s signing of the Respect for Marriage Act last Tuesday.
“After @potus signed the #RespectForMarriageAct my amazing partner of almost 4 years, Carsen, asked me to marry him on the South Lawn of the @whitehouse,” Small wrote in the message. “I, of course, said yes and could not think of a more fitting way to celebrate this moment in herstory.”
She continued, “I love you, Carsen.”
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In a joint interview with NBC News, Small and Russell shared that they first met in 2017, at a show where Small, a former drag artist, had performed. They kept in touch after Russell moved out of Vermont for his work, and made their relationship official when he returned in 2019.
The couple also recounted the moment Russell proposed in front of the White House. “I swear I could not have taken my glove off fast enough,” Small said. “It was really just the perfect backdrop and the perfect moment for that celebration.”
Small became the first out transgender lawmaker to represent Vermont in 2020, when she was elected to the state’s House of Representatives. She won her bid for re-election this past November.
Before that, Small worked as a drag performer under the name Nikki Champagne.
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