The transgender soldier who is set to attend Tuesday’s State of the Union address alongside Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) says she won’t be “rooting for, or against, anybody.”
Kennedy, who is the grandson of Robert Kennedy, announced Monday that he’d invited Army Staff Sgt. Patricia King to accompany him in an effort to protest President Donald Trump’s efforts to ban transgender recruits from the U.S. military.
Still, King told TMZ that she plans to attend the address “with an open mind.”
“[I’m] hoping I’m going to hear a portrayal of our country that involves directions that I, as a citizen, would like to see,” King said in the above video. “We’re a country that needs to be united, and the goal is for all of us to win.”
King, who is stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington state, first came to terms with her gender identity in 2013 at the end of her last deployment. According to the Boston Globe, she was the first service member to have the military pay for her gender confirmation surgery.
Though it remains to be seen if Trump will make note of LGBTQ issues in any way, King added, “I certainly hope that he remembers us and mentions us.”
She went on to note, “This should be a somber time where we take stock of where we are, and where we want to go as a country.”