T ransgender A merican
V eterans A ssociation

Ohio is First to Form Transgender Veterans Group



For Immediate Release: December 30, 2005
From:  The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)
Chapter Contact: Rev. Robin Rogers
Contact Email:  rev_robin_rogers@sbcglobal.net
Chapters Contact Phone: 
Media Contact:  Robyn Walters

Website:  http://www.tavausa.org

Ohio is First to Form Transgender Veterans Group
On 23 December 2005, an important first step was taken in
Ohio.  The Rev. Robin Rogers called a meeting of ten transgender veterans to order in Steubenville and so was born the first Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) state chapter.  As the news gets out, more Ohio veterans are asking how to join. 
Rev. Rogers, herself a veteran and a male to female transsexual, is ready to file the necessary incorporation papers as an Ohio non-profit organization.  TAVA Ohio will fall under the auspices and federal 501(c)(3) non-profit status of the national TAVA organization. 
TAVA Ohio is the first transgender and intersex state veterans organization to be formed as part of the Transgender American Veterans Association.  Each state organization will follow the bylaws of the national organization and will offer veterans and supporters a real presence as well as a virtual one.  Chief among the functions of state and local TAVA chapters will be preparedness for supporting transgender and intersex veterans and active duty members in times of natural or other disasters.  TAVA National began this tradition following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
"Our initial goal was to create unity, healing and awareness with a March to the Wall for our transgender veterans,” said Angela Brightfeather, TAVA Vice President.  “Now TAVA expands our goals  and  support  by the effort to reach transgender veterans at the state level.  The Ohio Chapter of TAVA [makes Ohio] the first proud state to reach this important next step in support of our transgender veterans."
TAVA was founded three years ago to support transsexual, intersex, and other transgender veterans in their quest for dignity and appropriate medical care in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration Customer Service Standards.  Now a 501(c)(3) organization, TAVA educates the Department of Veteran Affairs, Congress, and the US military on the needs and concerns of transgender and transsexual individuals. 
Several other TAVA state organizations are currently in planning stages, including
Tennessee and Wisconsin. 

TAVA Ohio officers will hold an organizational meeting on
7 January 2006.  This will be followed by an open meeting of the membership on 14 January.  Prospective members are invited.   For additional information, including meeting time and location, contact Rev. Rogers at   <rev_robin_rogers@sbcglobal.net>.
Ohio now in operation as the first state chapter of TAVA , it will be easier to seek improvement of veteran care for all transgender veterans, according to Ann Marie Knittel, TAVA Secretary and organizer of the chapter initiative.  “We will have better access to valid demographic data concerning denial of service to veterans due to acknowledged or suspected gender identity disorder (GID,” said Knittel..  “This will support efforts to change Public Law and/or VA policy and procedures to provide better healthcare for transgender and intersex veterans.  TAVA is pleased to have its first Chapter formed in one of the most anti-GLBTI states in the Union."
Founded in 2003, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is a 501(c)(3) organization that acts proactively with other concerned GLBT organizations to ensure that transsexual, intersex, 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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