June 21, 2021
The Veterans Administration will supply gender affirmation surgical procedure to transgender veterans, VA Secretary Denis McDonough mentioned Saturday throughout a Delight Month occasion in Orlando.
In keeping with the Orlando Sentinel, McDonough mentioned the coverage change is the correct factor to do for individuals who have been persecuted for his or her sexual orientation. VA clinicians reported that many LGBTQ+ veterans endure psychological well being issues due to discrimination, he mentioned.
“For generations, service members who determine as lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, transgender or associated identities confronted brazen discrimination and even worse — not simply in our Armed Forces, however in so many elements of their lives,” McDonough mentioned.
“That’s the darkish historical past we should overcome, at VA and in America, and it echoes to today, in horrific incidents just like the Pulse nightclub capturing that devastated this neighborhood 5 years in the past.”
McDonough mentioned it could take a number of years to broaden the VA’s capacity to carry out the surgical procedures.
“This time will enable VA to develop capability to satisfy the surgical wants that transgender veterans have referred to as for and deserved for a very long time, and I’m proud to start the method of delivering it,” McDonough mentioned.
VA Press Secretary Terrence Hayes mentioned the division expects fewer than 4,000 veterans would need the surgical procedure, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
A 2016 RAND Corp. examine estimated there may very well be 2,000 to 11,000 active-duty transgender troops, however that the true quantity might fluctuate.
The announcement is a significant 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 brazenly transgender individuals serving within the U.S. navy.