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A Must Read For A Transgendered Veteran!

As most of you know, I am a transgendered vet with a transgendered history with the VA.
To make a long story short, my hormone recommendation letter was written by a VA pyschologist. I also have my "meds" filled through the VA but not prescribed yet. What that means is there is no one in my area who feels well enough trained in the transgendered/transsexual treatment field to do it. I'm still awaiting news if the VA will cover my private doctor bills. If they don't I can appeal.
The "Transgender Equality Site" just issued this statement concerning transgendered care and the VA.
Here is an excerpt:
"Building on the June 2011 Directive on the treatment of transgender veterans, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has announced a clarification to its records policy that will make significant difference in the lives of trans veterans. Since the Directive has gone into effect, we have received positive reports from trans veterans about receiving more respectful health care. However, one area that the Directive left somewhat unclear was the documentation that was required for veterans to change the gender marker on their health records.
The Directive was very clear that medical records will now reflect an individual’s self-identified gender.  However, the policy also indicated that the individual must provide official documentation as per Veterans Health Administration policies in order to change the gender marker. This was initially interpreted incorrectly by some staff and facilities to require proof of sex reassignment surgery."

The most important and positive part of the post comes at the end:

"This clarification is another important step forward for trans
veterans. At NCTE we’ve been very pleased to provide education and
advocacy to the VA, which continues to be very interested in ensuring
that transgender vets are treated equally. We’re confident that the VA
will continue to move forward and are excited about some great
upcoming programs the VA is planning to provide cultural competency
training to clinical and administrative staff across the country.

In the coming weeks, NCTE will release a user-friendly guide to
changing your VA health records. Until then, we urge trans vets to
read our resources about the June 2011 VHA Directive and the passport
policy and speak with a patient advocate or Social Worker at your VA
facility if you have questions.

VHA Directive: http://transequality.org/PDFs/VHA_Trans_Health.pdf

Passport gender change policy:
http://transequality.org/Resources/passports_2012.pdf

If you have difficulties changing you records at your local VA or have
trouble accessing respectful healthcare, please contact NCTE
immediately at NCTE@transequality.org or 202-903-0112.

Really good information!!!!!
cyrsti cyrsti 61-65, T 5 Responses Mar 3, 2012

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Dear Cyrsti: First off thank you for your service to our great nation.<br />
<br />
This is the best article that I have read on E P. Thank you for sharing.

I attempted to have my gender marker changed shortly after the new VA directive was issued in Jun 2011. It was denied. I then filed an appeal with the Office of General Counsel in DC in December of 2011. I contacted them a few weeks ago to check on the status of the appeal and spoke to a Mrs. XXXXXX she said she would check with the lawyer and call me back. She called me today, 4-18-2012, and informed me that there are several gender maker change cases that the General Counsel is personally handling and my case is one of them. She further stated that the General Counsel is working with an unnamed doctor in order to clarify the policy and make a determination on all of the gender marker change cases. She suggested that I wait one month and call he again. <br />
<br />
The problem I am having with her suggestion and this article is that if the VA came out with a clarification on the gender marker change, as per your article, in March of this year and it was to take effect immediately, then why does the General Counsel still need to correspond with a doctor for clarification of the directive? I would assume that the General Counsel was notified or was possibly involved in creating the clarification, so why can’t he make a determination on my case as well as the other gender maker cases that he is personally handling? I am also curious why the VAMC in Shreveport has not been informed of this new clarification. I have not been able to find any official documents on the internet that clarify the directive so I am unable to show the General Counsel or the VAMC in Shreveport anything that will further support my appeal. I have sent several emails to the NCTE asking for assistance but have not received any response.<br />
<br />
Marie

Thank you for your service to our great nation.

From my responses here and on my blog from other trans-vets it seems the VA is very non uniform of it's treatment of all us. Plus it (like all government agencies) is adept at ignoring directives under a mound of paper work.
Just keep in mind Marie-you are a true pioneer-Thanks!!!!!

Write a letter to the head of the VA, include in that letter about the difficulties TG veterans have in obtaining the quality of care they have earned. Include also that the Family Equality Council could be of assistance to them. They are a national organization that handles a lot of gender and sexual preference issues, from very young boys and girls to adult men and women.

Yea, Sometimes the VA can be a bit difficult. Trust me, I work there. They've been extremely supportive to me as a Trans employee but I still have to jump through hoops. Just changing my name after the legal name change was not easy. There's a lot of steps that you have to do in a particular order and it seems that nobody was sure what needed to be done when.<br />
But at least at the facility I work at, they're incredibly supportive of Trans Vets and employees.

Kenzie, I agree the employee's at my VA Center have been supportive too! They just seem to be working in a vacuum. I'm optimistic the VA is trying to change all of that but then again it's a big organization!

Thank you for your service to our great nation.

Please note that the "Transgendered American Veterans Association", also known as T.A.V.A. is also there to assist transgendered service personel. This includes medical care.

You are absolutely correct!!!! Thanks!

You are welcome, one veteran to another

Thank you for your service to our great nation.