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President Joe Biden and First lady Jill Biden on April 25. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

First lady Jill Biden invited 16-year-old Stella Keating, the first transgender teen to testify before the U.S. Senate, as one of her virtual guests to President Biden's first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Keating's invitation comes amid a record number of Republican-backed bills introduced this year targeting trans youth — and after Biden's White House has brought national political attention to trans rights.

  • Keating, who testified in support of the Equality Act, also appears to be the first transgender person invited to a joint session of Congress by a president or first lady.
  • Transgender service members were invited to former President Trump's 2018 and 2019 State of the Union addresses by Democrats in protest of the administration's ban on trans people serving in the U.S. military.

Go deeper

How Biden's speech will make history

Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Paul Ryan watch President Obama deliver his final State of the Union speech in January 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden's address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday will be noteworthy not because of the COVID-restricted audience but because he'll stand before two women in the House Chamber.

Why it matters: The joint address is not a State of the Union speech, though it will have the usual trappings: an announcement of the president's arrival, and clapping as he walks down the aisle. Almost everything else will be different.

Apr 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden speech to feature American Sign Language interpretation

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

For the first time in history, the livestream of President Biden's joint address to Congress will feature American Sign Language interpretation for accessibility.

Why it matters The Biden administration has made accessibility a priority.

Bidens will visit Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in Georgia

Photo: Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit the 39th president, Jimmy Carter, and his wife Rosalynn in Georgia this week, AP reports.

The big picture: Biden was already set to attend a drive-in rally in Atlanta on Thursday in honor of his 100th day in office. The Bidens have now included a trip to Plains, Georgia, to see the Carters, who missed Biden's inauguration due to the pandemic.