June 21, 2021
The Veterans Administration will supply gender affirmation surgical procedure to transgender veterans, VA Secretary Denis McDonough stated Saturday throughout a Satisfaction Month occasion in Orlando.
In line with the Orlando Sentinel, McDonough stated the coverage change is the fitting factor to do for individuals who have been persecuted for his or her sexual orientation. VA clinicians reported that many LGBTQ+ veterans undergo psychological well being issues due to discrimination, he stated.
“For generations, service members who establish as lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender or associated identities confronted brazen discrimination and even worse — not simply in our Armed Forces, however in so many facets of their lives,” McDonough stated.
“That’s the darkish historical past we should overcome, at VA and in America, and it echoes to this present day, in horrific incidents just like the Pulse nightclub capturing that devastated this group 5 years in the past.”
McDonough stated it might take a number of years to increase the VA’s means to carry out the surgical procedures.
“This time will permit VA to develop capability to fulfill the surgical wants that transgender veterans have known as for and deserved for a very long time, and I’m proud to start the method of delivering it,” McDonough stated.
VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes stated the division expects fewer than 4,000 veterans would need the surgical procedure, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
A 2016 RAND Corp. research estimated there may very well be 2,000 to 11,000 active-duty transgender troops, however that the true quantity may differ.
The announcement is a serious shift from present VA coverage. In 2013, the VA began offering psychological well being counseling and prescription hormone remedy for transgender veterans however denied protection for intercourse reassignment surgical procedure.
The announcement comes after President Joe Biden in January overturned former President Donald Trump’s ban on overtly transgender individuals serving within the U.S. army.