Dem Congressman’s Guest to SOTU Is the ‘Face’ of Trump’s ‘Inhumane’ Transgender Military Ban

On Tuesday, at the annual State of the Union address, various legislators will be joined by special guests including Rep. Joseph Kennedy’s (D-Mass.) guest, who is a soldier and also a transgender woman.

According to the Boston Globe, Staff Sergeant Patricia King has served in the Army for almost 19 years and has deployed to Afghanistan three times.

King was married with two sons and explained that in 2013 she came out to her family, who was welcoming and supportive. Despite undergoing hormone therapy, a pre-Trump ban required her to still adhere to male soldier dress code, but was “elated” when it was lifted in June 2016.

She underwent gender reassignment surgery and told the Boston Globe she was the first to have it paid for by the military. Kennedy extended the invitation as a protest of President Trump’s transgender military ban and to put a face to policy.

“I want her to be there as a real person, and the face of an inhumane policy,” Kennedy said.

In December, a federal court blocked Trump’s attempt to block the military from accepting transgender recruits in the future and plaintiffs in a lawsuit have asked for a permanent block.

“Every one of us who raises our right hand is prepared to give everything in the defense of our country,” Kennedy told the Boston Globe.

While King will be in the audience, the grandson of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy won’t be attending the address because he will be delivering the Democrats’ rebuttal speech.

Other guests include an Army veteran who asked to take Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-Calif.) spot and Sunayana Dumala, an Indian immigrant whose husband was killed last year in a hate crime.

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