Pappas Invites Transgender Man to State of the Union Speech

Feb 4, 2019

U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, D-N.H.
Credit Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A New Hampshire congressman is inviting a transgender Navy veteran to be his guest at President Donald Trump's State of the Union address in Washington.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, the first openly gay member of Congress from New Hampshire, has invited Tavion Dignard of Auburn, New Hampshire, to the president's Tuesday speech.

Dignard is a transgender man who served in the United States Navy from 1998-2002 and was honorably discharged.

Pappas says the president's transgender military service ban would prevent qualified people such as Dignard from serving in the armed forces.

Dignard, who says he's grateful for the opportunity to share his story, is currently an undergraduate student at the University of New Hampshire.