Transgender veterans march to the wall

BTL Staff
By | 2011-03-12T09:00:00-04:00 March 12th, 2011|Uncategorized|

The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) will march to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, on Saturday, May 1, 2004. Organizers hope to draw a significant group of supporters from the Transgender community to honor the many transgender people who served our nation with pride and honor.
Angela Brightfeather, Chair of the TAVA Special Projects Committee, noted many reasons for a march to the wall, most of which, “lie within our own hearts and the pride with which we served our country, and to finally pay our respects to our service members and friends, as we should, and in a way that they never knew us, as people of Transgender experience.”
Like all American Veterans who need to share their experiences, Transgender Veterans have been unable to gather and share those experiences openly with pride. This march will establish the presence of Transgender veterans and provide a face and voice this group of American Veterans.
Monica Helms, President of TAVA, stated, “This event marks the first time transgender veterans will gather as a group to show that they exist. Although the March will not make an overt political statement, the presence of these veterans will be noticed, and their quiet message will be heard.”
Department of Veteran Affairs treatment of transgender veterans, particularly regarding health care for transsexual vets, is of concern to TAVA and to individual veterans. The VA is prohibited by law from performing sex reassignment surgery. Other treatment required by transsexuals, e.g., gender identity disorder counseling and hormone therapy, while not prohibited, appears to be strongly discouraged by VA headquarters. Requests for information from the VA Chief of Patient Services on legal and policy issues concerning treatment of transsexual veterans have failed to elicit any kind of acknowledgement.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 25th anniversary.