T ransgender A merican
V eterans A ssociation




Date: Monday, April 4, 2006

From: Transgendered American Veterans Association


Contact Name: Monica F. Helms

Title and/or Organization: President – Transgendered American Veterans Association

Area Code and phone #: 1-877-427-3230 (toll free)

Email address: president@tavausa.org

Mail: PO Box 4513, Akron, OH 44310

Media Contact:  Beth Maples-Bays
Media Contact email: media@tavausa.org
Media Contact Phone:  1-865-522-5776
Web site: http://www.tavausa.org/



 USA – The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) applauds the Federal Court ruling handed down Friday, March 31, regarding the decision to allow the American Civil Liberty Union’s (ACLU) lawsuit alleging sex discrimination against Diane Schroer to go forward. Schroer, a 25-year veteran of the United States Army, retired from the military in 2004 as a Colonel after a career of distinguished service. Her career included experience as an Airborne Ranger qualified Special Forces officer. Schroer also received many honors including the Defense Superior Service Medal and selection for a leadership position in classified national security operation. 

Schroer, 49, previously applied for a position with the Library of Congress as a terrorism research specialist and was the number one candidate in a field of 24. Her references were told that she had already been hired. Shortly after notifying her prospective employer of her intent to transition from male to female, she received a letter telling her she was not a “good fit” for the job.

The ACLU then took up Schroer’s case based on their belief that it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

 “TAVA supports the ACLU in their efforts to find justice for Diane Schroer,” comments Monica Helms, President of the Transgender American Veterans Association.

 “This high profile case of a transgender veteran being denied employment is indicative of conditions transgender veterans face on a daily basis. Schroer’s situation is just the tip of the iceberg concerning employment discrimination faced by so many of our veterans,” asserts Helms.

Helms’ fears are supported by findings that estimate overall transgender unemployment as high as 70 per cent nationally. Seen in context with the 15 per cent unemployment rate among all veterans, which is three times the national average, the picture of astronomical unemployment rates in the transgender veterans’ population is quite clear.

TAVA’s Assistance National Chapters Director BEAR (sic) A.E. Rodgers, who also serves as State Director of the Tennessee TAVA Chapter, brings his perspective to the issues surrounding the Schroer case. “This case is another example of the discrimination trans veterans, and transgender people in general, are subjected to when seeking employment. Trans veterans have a terribly high unemployment rate, especially considering all the training we have received from the military. We served proudly and wish to continue to do so. I applaud the Federal Court in their decision regarding the Diane Schroer case,” observes Rodgers.

“This entire situation points out the need for massive public education regarding exactly what transgender people face in trying to enter the workplace. Diane has a double whammy, as she is both transgender and female,” states TAVA member Sam Bays, who served in the United States Army.

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Founded in 2003, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is a 501(c)(3) organization that interacts proactively with other concerned LGBTI organizations to ensure that transsexual and transgender veterans will receive appropriate care for medical conditions in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration Customer Service Standards promise to "treat you with courtesy and dignity … as the first class citizen that you are.” Further, TAVA will help in educating the VA and the US military on issues regarding a fair and equal treatment of transgender and transsexual individuals.



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