Transgender American Veterans Association

Transgender American Veterans Association The Transgender American Veterans Association advocates for equality for transgender veterans and active duty service members in healthcare, benefits, and open transgender military service.

TAVA is recognized by the IRS as a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code. As such, all donations are tax deductible to the extent prescribed by law.

Operating as usual

06/19/2021

ATTENTION TRANSGENDER VETERANS
Monica F. Helms
Former President Transgender American Veterans Association

Today, Saturday, June 19th, Denis McDonough, Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, announced that transgender veterans will receive full medical benefits from the VA, INCLUDING GE***AL REASSINMENT SURGERY. That is correct; veterans can now receive GRS through the VA, along with psychiatric assistance and hormone treatment.
Eighteen and a half years ago, Angela Brightfeather and I started TAVA because we found that transgender veterans were not being treated equally in every VA facility across the country. Some VAs treated trans veterans well, but would not do GRS. However, other facilities would not treat trans veterans at all. We found that unfair to the thousands who served and gave their time and pain for our country.
It took us eight and a half years before we got the VA to come out with a directive that showed how to properly treat and address trans veterans. Yet, they still would not cover GRS. TAVA was on other fights as well. They fought for transgender people to serve in the military and won that as well.
Now, after almost two decades of fighting for trans veterans and military service members, TAVA is again on the front line of another win for our veterans. Some will argue that this will cost way too much money. A recent report from The Palm Center shows that the VA will spend more on birth control than they will for GRS.
I feel proud of being part of the formation of the Transgender American Veterans Association and proud to see them achieve a goal Angela and I set for ourselves in 2003. Thank you TAVA for helping our people.

06/19/2021

ATTENTION TRANSGENDER VETERANS
Transgender American Veterans Association

This was a big reason why TAVA was founded and still is a salient voice for Transgender Veterans today.

19 years ago we asked where Trans people would be able to experience less discrimination in the workplace, and the answer was in the military, because Trans veterans knew then, from experience, that the military does not discriminate and is inclusive.
We knew that TAVA was the one transgender group who were able to spearhead that same environment of honesty, respect and equality for the entire community to follow. Prior to TAVA, no one even thought that Transgender people were also Veterans who deserved equality and respect. They simply did not exist.

Today, the Biden administration has stated that Transgender Veterans deserve to be treated equally and receive all the healthcare they require as prescribed, with no exceptions. There should never be any exceptions for American Veterans who served to defend the freedom of all Americans, even at the cost of their own lives. The recognition of all of our Veterans, with equal and the same benefits to all, despite their religion, race, s*x and gender is an example of what makes America the great democracy it is today.

Angela Brightfeather Sheedy
Founder, Vice President

"We are taking the first necessary steps to expand VA's care to include Gender Confirmation Surgery -- thus allowing tra...
06/19/2021

"We are taking the first necessary steps to expand VA's care to include Gender Confirmation Surgery -- thus allowing transgender vets to go through the full gender confirmation process with VA by their side," - Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough

"We are taking the first necessary steps to expand VA's care to include Gender Confirmation Surgery -- thus allowing transgender vets to go through the full gender confirmation process with VA by their side," - Veteran Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough

The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is delighted that the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced ...
06/19/2021
First on CNN: Biden administration moves to make gender confirmation surgery available through Veteran Affairs health care system

The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is delighted that the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced the proposed rule change to remove the discriminatory exclusion against gender affirming health care. From the Revolutionary War to the Global War on Terror, American patriots who happen to be transgender have served and continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction in all branches including the newly formed Space Force. Transgender Veterans have earned the right to the accepted, medically necessary procedures and protocols prescribed by their healthcare providers without being subject to discrimination based on gender identity. TAVA applauds VA Secretary Denis McDonough for announcing the proposed rule change and for his commitment to equality for all of America’s Veterans.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/19/politics/veterans-affairs-gender-confirmation-surgery/index.html

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough is moving to make gender confirmation surgery available to transgender veterans through Veterans Affairs health care coverage, according to a VA department spokesperson.

A new Smithsonian Channel documentary may affirm long-standing suspicions about the Polish fighter’s identity.This is an...
06/15/2021
Was the Revolutionary War Hero Casimir Pulaski Inters*x?

A new Smithsonian Channel documentary may affirm long-standing suspicions about the Polish fighter’s identity.

This is an amazing read. Check it out if you have the time.

A new Smithsonian Channel documentary may affirm long-standing suspicions about the Polish fighter’s identity

TAVA President Ann here.If you are not getting the care you need or are receiving less than respectful treatment at a De...
06/14/2021
VA.gov | Veterans Affairs

TAVA President Ann here.

If you are not getting the care you need or are receiving less than respectful treatment at a Department of Veterans Affairs facility, you can report it to the White House VA Hotline at 855-948-2311.

Calls to the White House Hotline are tracked to help ensure that the Veteran gets a response and to identify systemic issues.

https://www.va.gov/ve/whvahotline.asp

Apply for and manage the VA benefits and services you’ve earned as a Veteran, Servicemember, or family member—like health care, disability, education, and more.

06/09/2021

Urgent!

TAVA has received an interview request from Stars & Stripes regarding trans Veterans' experiences with getting DD 214's corrected. Please post here, in the TAVA private group, or email to [email protected] no later than tomorrow night, Thursday June 10, 2021.

I would love to know people's experiences with how long it took, or how long you have been waiting, if you experienced any problems, your general impression of the process, etc. It would be helpful to know which service(s) you were in.

Also, a few words about why this is so important to trans Veterans would be helpful. We want to make sure your voices get heard.

Thank you!

Ann Murdoch, TAVA President

Marsha P Johnson’s contribution to the entire LGBTQIA+ community went unacknowledged for decades. We celebrate Pride, bu...
06/07/2021
Marsha P Johnson’s Activism Matters Now More Than Ever

Marsha P Johnson’s contribution to the entire LGBTQIA+ community went unacknowledged for decades.

We celebrate Pride, but we also see how necessary it is for the community to come together to push back against the blatant legislative and physical attacks against the trans community.

Let’s remember the passion Marsha P Johnson had to see change and how her activism changed the world.

Read more about her life and legacy.

Hers is a name you should know

IT IS PRIDE MONTH!! For some, Pride is all about the party. For some, Pride is about reflecting on the changes in societ...
06/04/2021

IT IS PRIDE MONTH!!

For some, Pride is all about the party. For some, Pride is about reflecting on the changes in society that allow them to be proud. For some, Pride is a chance to experience the feeling of community. And for some, Pride is about living loud and authentically.

What does PRIDE mean to you?

IT IS PRIDE MONTH!!

For some, Pride is all about the party. For some, Pride is about reflecting on the changes in society that allow them to be proud. For some, Pride is a chance to experience the feeling of community. And for some, Pride is about living loud and authentically.

What does PRIDE mean to you?

05/31/2021

Vice President Angela here.

I was a DI for 8 years and I never woke up in the morning to train my recruits that I forgot that some of them were not coming back from Vietnam. It was my mission to make them soldiers and make sure they had the tools to survive.
But I always made sure that they knew that they could get through it if they cared about the guy next to them.

I go to The Wall to remember them every year I can. I honor those who made it back also. Every one of them deserves our thanks and gratitude today.

05/31/2021

Board President Ann here.

Today I think of all the fallen comrades I saluted on Disney Drive at Bagram Air Base as their remains were solemnly transported to the C-17s that would take them to the mortuary at Dover Air Base. Thousands of US and coalition troops lined the route, silently presenting arms as the flag draped shipping containers passed by in the back of a HMMWV. They gave their lives to protect the US from another 9/11 and so that Afghans might have a chance at freedom from the Taliban and warlords.

Let’s enjoy this day off from work but let’s also remember to celebrate and honor those that gave their lives for our FR...
05/31/2021

Let’s enjoy this day off from work but let’s also remember to celebrate and honor those that gave their lives for our FREEDOM.

#memorialday #transgender #veterans #transgenderveteran #transveterans #transveteran

Let’s enjoy this day off from work but let’s also remember to celebrate and honor those that gave their lives for our FREEDOM.

#memorialday #transgender #veterans #transgenderveteran #transveterans #transveteran

Hey All, Board Member Avalisa here. I personally believe in what ACLU is doing. At this point they have sued two states ...
05/31/2021
Protect Transgender Rights with the ACLU

Hey All, Board Member Avalisa here.

I personally believe in what ACLU is doing. At this point they have sued two states for anti-trans legislation and I will be signing to further their efforts to keep ALL trans people safe. Because we do belong.

Add Your Name Today

Transgender American Veterans Association is holding its second Virtual Town Hall. Register in advance:https://us02web.z...
05/28/2021

Transgender American Veterans Association is holding its second Virtual Town Hall. Register in advance:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUoduyrqzItEtOzQf8dVdVGDyj0QPgSkyhL

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Be sure to bring your questions.

Transgender American Veterans Association is holding its second Virtual Town Hall. Register in advance:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUoduyrqzItEtOzQf8dVdVGDyj0QPgSkyhL

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
Be sure to bring your questions.

“The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Arkansas officials over a recently passed measure that will ...
05/26/2021
ACLU sues Arkansas over transgender health care ban

“The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Arkansas officials over a recently passed measure that will bar health care professionals from providing transition-related care to transgender minors. The suit was filed on behalf of four trans youths and their parents, as well as two physicians who provide gender-affirming health care.”

The ACLU filed a lawsuit against Arkansas officials over HB 1570, a bill that will ban transgender minors from receiving transition care.

Hey Trans Vets! Check out this amazing article highlighting 5 Trans Vets out of Phoenix. They discuss the changes to the...
05/25/2021
5 transgender veterans discuss political changes

Hey Trans Vets!

Check out this amazing article highlighting 5 Trans Vets out of Phoenix. They discuss the changes to the handling of Transgender service members and veterans.

Transgender military veterans have faced a constant shift in policy, depending on which party is in power. Five of them talk to Cronkite News about their experiences.

Mary Jones is considered to be one of the first openly recorded transgender people in New York history.In 1836, she was ...
05/24/2021

Mary Jones is considered to be one of the first openly recorded transgender people in New York history.

In 1836, she was tried for grand larceny. She purposefully appeared in court dressed as a woman and was subjected to mockery by the audience of the court. While her crime would have normally been the subject of the media, her appearance greatly overshadowed her crimes.

Mary Jones is a huge part of Trans History though reports misgender her because the understanding of trans identities was less concrete in these days. However, if you have some time, read more about her.

https://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/sewally-jones/man-monster

Mary Jones is considered to be one of the first openly recorded transgender people in New York history.

In 1836, she was tried for grand larceny. She purposefully appeared in court dressed as a woman and was subjected to mockery by the audience of the court. While her crime would have normally been the subject of the media, her appearance greatly overshadowed her crimes.

Mary Jones is a huge part of Trans History though reports misgender her because the understanding of trans identities was less concrete in these days. However, if you have some time, read more about her.

https://outhistory.org/exhibits/show/sewally-jones/man-monster

We are looking for TAVA members to highlight. We all have lived different lives and all have different stories. It is im...
05/24/2021

We are looking for TAVA members to highlight. We all have lived different lives and all have different stories. It is important for society to understand that we are not a monolith. We are individuals with vastly different experiences. The best way to do that is with stories.

If you are interested, email a photo and your story to [email protected]

We are looking for TAVA members to highlight. We all have lived different lives and all have different stories. It is important for society to understand that we are not a monolith. We are individuals with vastly different experiences. The best way to do that is with stories.

If you are interested, email a photo and your story to [email protected]

Guess what Trans Vets! We are back on Twitter and Instagram!So if one of those is your preferred platform, we've got you...
05/20/2021

Guess what Trans Vets! We are back on Twitter and Instagram!

So if one of those is your preferred platform, we've got you with a blast of entertainment, information, and community opportunities.

www.twitter.com/transveteran
www.instagram.com/transveterans

And hey, even if you don't use it but have an account there, just give us a follow.

#transveteran

Guess what Trans Vets! We are back on Twitter and Instagram!

So if one of those is your preferred platform, we've got you with a blast of entertainment, information, and community opportunities.

www.twitter.com/transveteran
www.instagram.com/transveterans

And hey, even if you don't use it but have an account there, just give us a follow.

#transveteran

05/02/2021

Hi all, what is everyone favorite Sunday relaxfull hobby

03/10/2021
TAVA Town Hall

Transgender American Veterans Association First Virtual Town Hall of 2021.

08/18/2020

To all TAVA Members and Guests.
Hopefully you will be watching the DNC Convention on line as so many others.
This Thursday I have been asked by the DNC to take 5 minutes to explain about TAVA and the changes to the language of the DNC Platform regarding TAVA's work in the past month to change the platform language to include GCS in the VHA Health policy for Transgender Active Duty and Veterans. I will be located in the GLBTQ Transgender Caucus Room speaking about TAVA and the changes to the Platform that were made, beginning at 12:00 noon, est and will be towards the end. Before me will will other representatives like Brin Tannahill speaking for SPARTA, so please plan on attending and submitting your questions.

Angela Brightfeather

08/18/2020

Hello TAVA Members and Guests.
As the NEW Vice President of
TAVA I would like to apologize to our membership about the lack of action items posted on our public media outlets. The change in leadership last month, going from Evan Young as President, to the new slate of officers who are less than not as knowledgeable about social media as Evan is has left us fumbling around and trying to learn how to navigate. We will get better and become more in communication as we learn the ropes.

The Cloud Dancers Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Robina Asti, a 99-year-old tran...
05/06/2020
Cloud Dancers Foundation – Bringing joy, hope, and resilience to the LGBTQ community, one wish at a time

The Cloud Dancers Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded by Robina Asti, a 99-year-old transgender widow and WWII veteran. Since transitioning 45 years ago, she has become a fervent supporter to those who are vulnerable and emotionally disenfranchised due to their s*xual orientation. The Cloud Dancers Foundation is a wish-granting program for those who, like Robina, feel invisible, from the aging and LGBTQ to homeless youth. The Foundation will start by supporting the aging LGBTQ, inspired by Robina.

The Cloud Dancers Foundation is launching in the midst of this global pandemic in order to start granting wishes to a population that's more vulnerable now than ever.

For more information, visit clouddancers.org

Robina’s Story As a transgender widow, and the founder of The Cloud Dancers Foundation a 501(c)(3), Robina is a pioneer who has fought for acceptance and dignity for LGBTQ people for over 40 years. Robina transitioned from male… Read More

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(516) 828-2911

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TAVA’s Founding Story

TAVA’s history began when Angela Brightfeather and Monica Helms joined the Yahoo Group list by the name of TS Veterans in 2002. The group had been formed to specifically discuss the various issues facing transgender veterans who had to deal with the VA medical facilities and for other health-related issues. The people in the group talked about several things and at one time: everyone began talking about their experiences with different VA facilities across the country. Some on the list had great experiences, while others elsewhere had horrible ones. Many on the list thought that they had no choice but to take it. This would be the best they could ever expect from the VA.

Out of all the stories told on the list, one seemed to strike a chord with Brightfeather and Helms. It came from a transgender man by the name of Alex Fox. When Fox went to the Washington DC VA facility to get help in the 1990’s, and they found out he was trans, they refused to provide him with any service at all. He then drove sixty miles north to the VA facility in Baltimore, and they treated him great.

Alex’s story moved Brightfeather and Helms, and they decided something had to be done about this. Both served on National Transgender Advocacy Coalition’s Activism Committee (NTAC) and figured the Committee could work on this issue. However, after seeing the extent of the problem facing transgender veterans, they felt that it should have its own committee in NTAC to work on the problem.

The bases of the problem came from a Public Law that the VA medical facilities interpret in different ways, causing inconsistency across the country when it came to transgender veterans. Public Law (PL) 104-262 reads as follows (please note the vague terminology in the language):


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