Our Mission, Goals, Vision, and Plan Of Action
Mission: The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) acts proactively with other concerned GLBT organizations to ensure that transsexual and transgendered 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 transgendered and transsexual individuals. TAVA will also educate for a change in public law and policy that will help initiate this fair and equal treatment.
Goals: Transgender American Veterans Association goals include:
1. Treatment of veterans who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID) with the dignity promised those who have served our country.
2. Provision of authorized medical and mental health services to veterans without regard to their history of GID.
3. Provision of GID-related medical and mental health to veterans in accordance with the Benjamin Standards of Care.
4. Assist any GLBT organization who helps active duty transgender and transsexual persons by providing detailed insight into these issues.
5. To partner with any group or organization for the betterment of all American veterans, regardless of their transgender status.
Vision: Our organization will endeavor to work with the VA, Congress, interested veterans, veterans groups, active duty military personal and GLBT groups to influence Public Law, as well as VA and military policy, regulations, and procedures, to the end of covering the medical and psychological needs of veterans suffering from Gender Identity Disorder. In attempting to improve veteran care for all transsexual and transgendered veterans, the organization will follow a policy of causing no harm to veterans or VA clinics or staff that currently provides such care for veterans. We extend this policy to ensure we cause no harm to any active duty military personnel by keeping their issues in a strict confidence.
Plan Of Action:
- Research current law and VA regulations and policy concerning treatment related to Gender Identity Disorder [DSM IV, Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood (302.6), Adolescence, or Adulthood (302.85), or Gender Identity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (GIDNOS) (302.6)].
- Gather and analyze valid demographic data concerning
- The range and depth of Benjamin Standards of Care treatment provided for preoperative, postoperative, and nonoperative transsexuals in the various VA regions and health care facilities, including denial of GID-related medical and mental health care.
- Determine a course of action to eliminate denial of authorized services to veterans due to their having GID.
- Determine and describe GID treatment shortcomings.
- Develop a reasonable set of treatment options for veterans with GID.
- Determine impediments to VA provision of adequate treatment for veterans with GID, including, but not limited to, Public Law, VA regulations, an attitude of local VA managers, and lack of staff education.
- Develop recommended changes to Public Law and/or VA policy and procedures.
- Develop a plan to educate for changes to law, policy, and procedures.
- Develop a consensus among Veterans Groups of the validity of both the needed changes and the methods for making a change.
- Institute action by a coalition of groups to bring necessary changes to fruition.
- Lend assistance to legal organizations that provide service to any active duty service member if they have been outed while on duty. This will include: Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and other private services
- Work toward providing an open dialogue with the Department of Defense and the military services on issues concerning transgender and transsexual military personnel.
- Work with national veterans’ organizations to help educate them on TG/TS issues; and Educate the nation in understanding that “We served proudly, too.”