Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will be joined by Navy Lieutenant Commander Blake Dremann, a transgender man, as her guest to tonight’s State of the Union address.
Patriots like Lt. Commander Blake Dremann—the first openly transgender servicemember to be promoted in our military’s history, and the president of @sparta_pride—make our armed forces and our country stronger. I’m honored he’ll be joining me at the State of the Union. pic.twitter.com/hzjIiMll5U— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) February 4, 2019
In a statement to HuffPost, Gillibrand said, “I am inspired by Lieutenant Commander Blake Dremann’s leadership and am honored that he will be attending the State of the Union as my guest.”
Dremann has been deployed 11 times and has won numerous accolades including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. The active-duty Navy Lieutenant Commander is also the president of SPARTA, an LGBT Military Advocacy organization that educates service members on trans military policies.
Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been a champion for marginalized service members including speaking out on the epidemic of sexual assault in the military and leading the effort to repeal the homophobic “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.