Joe Kennedy is bringing a trans soldier to Trump’s first State of the Union

Joe Kennedy III

On Tuesday (30 January), Donald Trump delivers his first State of the Union as President of the United States.

Democratic Representative Joe Kennedy III from Massachusetts is bringing a trans soldier to the event. Army Staff Sgt. Patricia King is attending Trump’s speech.

Kennedy, the grandson of Robert Kennedy, called King the ‘best and bravest’.

‘I have served for almost 19 years,’ King told the Boston Globe. ‘And all of a sudden, it is all hanging in the balance.’

Last year, Trump issued a memo ending trans service in the military. However, various lawsuits and court orders reversed the decision, allowing people to join at the start of the year.

King was the first member whose gender confirmation surgery was paid for by the military.

All eyes and ears

The State of the Union is an annual speech delivered by the President to a joint session of Congress and the American people.

It’s a way for the Commander in Chief to outline legislative goals and give an economic report.

However, while King is Kennedy’s guest, she will be going in his place. Kennedy will not be present for the State of the Union as Democrats chose him to give the rebuttal speech.

Kennedy has served in Congress since 2013.

In a statement about their choice, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said: ‘While President Trump has consistently broken his promises to the middle class, Congressman Kennedy profoundly understands the challenges facing hard-working men and women across the country.’