At Donald Trump’s first State of the Union Address, Joe Kennedy will bring a transgender military veteran of 19 years.
The Democratic congressman plans to bring Staff Sergeant Patricia King to the Tuesday address, according to PinkNews. King’s appearance will partially be to put a face to the proposed transgender military ban by Trump that was recently stopped in federal court.
“I want her to be there as a real person, and the face of an inhumane policy,” Kennedy said to the Boston Globe. “I don’t believe that [the ban] is reflective of our country at its best, or of the values Americans hold.”
King said after all her service, it’s surprising her status now hangs in the balance over the policy.
“There are much easier ways to get surgery covered than enlisting in the military, [facing] the possibility of deployment, and dealing with the stigma of being a transgender service member,” King said. “Every one of us who raises our right hand is prepared to give everything in the defense of our country.”
Kennedy was selected as the chairman of the Transgender Equality Task Force in Congress last year. He will also issue the Democratic party’s response to the State of the Union address, according to the Globe.