The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)

 Quarterly Newsletter                                     Summer 2017
Know Your Rights
Become A Member
TAVA President Message

Welcome to the seventh issue of The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) e-Newsletter! The aim of this publication is to keep you informed of new initiatives of TAVA and updates concerning the transgender veteran community. The TAVA e-Newsletter is published quarterly. Each issue brings you the latest information on new TAVA initiatives, TAVA partners, conferences TAVA will send a representative to, and news items that are of interest for the transgender veteran. 

To make sure you stay connected, please subscribe to TAVA's quarterly newsletter via the TAVA website. We also encourage our followers to join and/or renew your membership. For more information on TAVA membership, please visit: We hope you find the TAVA e-Newsletter as a valuable resource in collecting information about TAVA and the issues concerning you, the transgender veteran. We welcome your suggestions and feedback. You can contact us directly on the website at

Evan Young
MAJ, U.S. Army (Ret.)
National President,
Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)


Happy Pride Season from the TAVA Board
LGBT Pride celebrates our diverse culture and recognizes the many impactful contributions made by LGBT people . During this Pride season, we recognize LGBT Veterans and Service members,  past and present. We recognize their many important contributions to society and their selfless service. 

Links of interest...

Support TAVA each time you shop with AmazonSmile
Anytime you shop with AmazonSmile, you can elect to 
have a small proceed of your purchases go to TAVA. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
What a great way to support transgender veterans! Be
sure to select TAVA to add our organization as your charity of choice. To get started visit,


In Remembrance
Rowan Feldhaus
Transgender Army Reservist Rowan Feldhaus passed away after complications from surgery in May 2017. Rowan was a client with Lambda Legal. They represented him in a Georgia Court of Appeals case after a judge refused to allow him to change his name. Now, Georgia judges are required to allow people to change their names. We shall never forget Rowan and the impact his life. You can read more about Rowan here:

Orlando – One Year Later
One year has passed since the tragic news of the Orlando atrocity. Those horrible images and the attack on our community is still painful. The loss of innocent LGBT people is etched in our collective memories. As Veterans, we understand how precious life is. We share in outrage that our freedom was violated. While our brothers and sisters may no longer be here, we carry them in our hearts as we move forward. 


Website Updates 

The TAVA website is updated on a regular basis to bring you the most current information. The variety of resources, documents, and other applicable materials are presented in a user-friendly format with the ease of simple navigation. 

Points of interest...
  • Passport Facility Locator - makes it fast and easy to locate your nearest passport acceptance facility. 
  • Journalist Tips - guidance for those writing on trans veterans and active duty service members.
  • For The History Books - collection of transgender veteran videos.
  • Trans Support Locator - includes new VA and local peer support group listings. Find your nearest trans support group or submit a location listing.
  • Recommended Links  - new categories of resources have been added to this growing section including Government; Legal; LGBT Veteran and Military; National/Federal Agencies; VA and VA-related forms.
  • State Veteran Benefits - Click on a state for benefit information such as State Veteran Affairs Education Benefits; Financial Assistance; Employment Resources; Housing Links; Legal Resources; and other State Veteran Benefits info.

    Stay tuned as we continue to make more updates......
    • T-Blog - In our TBlog, we tell you about our battles and share messages that inspire us and hopefully you too.
    • Speaker's Bureau
    • TAVA Historical Timeline 
    • Name and Gender Change Assistance
    • Wreath Laying at Tomb of Unknown Solider 

TAVA Membership
Members are the foundation of TAVA's strength. Our membership model allows anyone to join regardless of their financial ability. Choose what level best meets your needs. Your  generous gift enables TAVA’s  programs, advocacy, and outreach to be stronger  and more effective. Become a member and join a grassroots force which supports over 134,000 transgender veterans. FMI - 


We heard your request and now have a website shop! Get ready for our awesome selection and proudly display your support and pride. We are even adding items that will educate the public on trans issues. 

TAVA Patch 
One of a kind sew-on 3″ patch with official logo of The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA). Exclusively available for sale on the TAVA website for Veterans and Allies. Proudly display your support. Makes a great gift. Limited supplies, so order yours today! 


TAVA Advocacy & Outreach
As a grassroots organization, TAVA advocates for the fair and equal treatment of transgender military veterans and service members through advocacy, outreach, and assistance. As military veterans who have served with pride, you inspire us to do better, taking action for every veteran and waking each morning to fight even harder than the day before. 

  • San Diego LGBT Military Service Members and Families MeetingOn February 16, Board member Zander was a guest speaker at the San Diego LGBT Military and Families meeting. He spoke about the process and status of transition benefits for transgender active duty service members.
  • Cal Vet Winter Conference – On March 02, VP Gene presented an LGBT Veteran Cultural Competency Training at the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Winter Conference. We are proud to report that TAVA is now included as an LGBT Veteran Advocacy Group on CalVet’s Minority Veterans page:
  • LGBT Veteran Cultural Competency for NYU Psych Staff - On March 03, Board Member Denny spoke with New York University Medical Center Psych Staff on starting a new 'telecare' veterans program. He also discussed 'cultural competence' in working with LGBT Veterans.  
  • Queens Library Memory Program – On March 11, Board Member Denny was interviewed as part of the Queens County Public Library local series. The piece focuses on local Queens residents who have made an historical impact. You can read Denny’s bio here:
  • University of Mary Washington PanelOn March 13, Board Member Kimberly participated on a panel in Fredericksburg VA. She spoke and shared her story to students as part of a larger presentation.
  • Addressing the Needs of Transgender Military Veterans: Better Access and More Comprehensive Care TAVA is proud to share that Board Member Zander is one of 3 authors on this latest journal (March 2017) article addressing the needs of transgender military veteran health care! FMI:
  • Diverse Veteran' Project – On April 15, Board Member Denny was interviewed live via Skype HD Video for a 'Diverse Veteran' project in LA. The program is part of a Los Angeles based Japanese-American Veterans history museum dedicated to telling the story of patriotic young Japanese Americans who volunteered to serve in WWII -directly from the Japanese-American Internment camps. After having recorded the histories of Japanese American WWII Veterans, the museum has gone on to record the stories of 'other diverse American minority veterans.'
  • "Working With Transgender Clients" Presentation and Workshop - On April 22, Board Member Zander presented at the California Association of Alcohol / Drug Educators Conference at the Sheraton Gateway LAX, Los Angeles, CA. The presentation was followed by a workshop.
  • LGBT Military Presentation - On April 25, TAVA President Evan was invited to speak at Hunter Army Airfield, in Savannah, Georgia. Evan spoke about LGBT Military as well as LGBT Veterans for an active duty audience. The experience was fantastic and there have been other opportunities on the horizon because of this event!
  • Texas A&M University Keynote Address – On April 27, Board Member Zander delivered the keynote address, “Transitional Wisdom: One Man's Journey" at the Central Texas University. Congratulations Zander!
  • Trans 101 for VA Staff – On May 08, TAVA VP Gene presented a Trans 101 presentation for VA social work staff. The presentation was followed by an extensive Q&A session.
  • NBC.Out Interview – Earlier in May, TAVA Pres. Evan was interviewed by NBC.Out  for a monthly profile series highlighting people in the LGBT community who are making a difference. Evan spoke about his personal experiences as well as his advocacy work ““My goal is to reduce prejudice and discrimination, and to teach others how to work together despite their differences.” FMI:
  • *Trans Officers in National Security – On June 06, Board Member Kimberly was invited to participate in a gathering of *Trans Officers involved in national security.
  • Broward VA Presentation – Evan was asked to speak at the Broward VA, in Florida. He will be respresenting TAVA, as well as discussing LGBT Veterans.
  • NYC 'Veterans Mental Health Coalition's "Serving Veterans Who Identify As LGBT" Conference - On June 16, Board member Denny spoke at the conference to 60 psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers regarding LGBT military history and providing extensive information on TAVA. Denny noted, in particular, that the TAVA website provides invaluable information about name changes and other matters that are urgent to their patients.
  • Atlanta VA Pride Resource Fair – Board Member Jamie will be representing TAVA on June 21 at the Atlanta VA Pride Resource Fair. Several representatives from various LGBT organizations there to provide any veterans and VA staff with access to other organizations/resources and to answer any questions.
  • Bronx VA Pride - On June 21, Board Member Denny will be representing TAVA at this tabling event at the Bronx VA (James J. Peters Medical Center) in the main lobby hallway. Denny will provide visibility and information to staff and veterans.
  • NYC Mayor's Pride Reception at Gracie Mansion - On June 22, Board Member Denny will be attending the NYC Mayor's Pride Reception at Gracie Mansion, the Mayor's official residence.  This yearly event features an outdoor barbeque on the Great Lawn, overlooking the East River.
TAVA Upcoming Schedule
  • 21 June 2017 – VA Staff Trans 101, Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather, CA.
  • 26 June 2017 - LGBT celebration - Fort Belvoir Army Installation,  Fairfax County, Virginia
  • 18 July 2017 – Transgender Veteran Panel - USF-Sacramento Campus, Sacramento, CA
  • TBD - Speaking on TAVA - Neutral Corner - San Diego, California.
  • TBD – August 2017 - VA Staff Trans 101, Martinez VA Medical Center, Martinez, CA.
  • TBD – October 2017 - VA Staff Trans 101, Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather, CA.
  • TBD – November 2017 - VA Staff Trans 101, Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather, CA.


Veteran Challenge Fundraiser
We're excited to announce we are involved in the Veterans Charity Challenge, a friendly fundraising competition raising money for organizations supporting America's heroes. Please help by giving what you can so TAVA can win the grand prize donation of $20,000. Go here to give: 

Make Your Voice Heard 

TAVA has compiled important surveys, petitions and
studies for the transgender veteran community. Your
voice matters and is critical to the process of collecting
data and providing important feedback. Feel free to
share these with other transgender veterans you may
  • DD-214 Survey
    TAVA's survey available online for those veterans who attempted to change their DD-214 and received a response back from their service board. The survey can be found on our website and at this link:

  • DD-214 Discharge Upgrade/Name Change Survey 
    TAVA survey for those wishing to upgrade or change their name on their DD-214. We have partnered with a pool of experienced attorneys who provide free legal representation to veterans in upgrading their discharge status and changing their name on their DD-214. If you are interested, please fill out the following survey: Your responses will help us get a handle of the need for assistance.

  • VHA Related Care Survey
    If you are a veteran who uses the VA for their healthcare needs, we want to hear from you. Please take the TAVA VA related care survey located at
  • Better Understanding Empowerment Among Non-Binary Transgender Clients
    Michelle Farrell, a graduate student of counseling psychology at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, is conducting a study examining the ways in which counselors can effectively empower non-binary transgender (NBT) clients. (IRB Approval Number: IRB at University of Missouri, Kansas City, protocol # 16434.) The purpose of this study is to better understand the phenomenon of empowerment among non-binary transgender clients. Also, participants will be given $25 for contributing to the study. If interested, please contact Michelle directly at 
  • Experience With Trans And Gender Psychotherapy Services
    A faculty member at Southern Connecticut State University is researching individuals with experience in psychotherapy services related to trans and gender questioning issues. This research involves individuals 18 years+: 1) trans and gender questioning individuals who attended the therapy, or 2) partners and family members who attended therapy for support, knowledge or skills after someone in their life disclosed a trans/gender questioning identity. FMI or to participate, please visit:

  • Eligibility Survey - Week-long Daily Diary Study For Transgender Women
    A research assistant in the Department of Psychology at University of Maryland, College Park, is studying how transgender women's daily experiences impact their well-being. To participate in this study, you must be: 1) 18 years of age or older, 2) currently living within the United States, 3) identify as a transgender woman, and 4) able to access the Internet every day. Eligible participants will be compensated $10 dollars for full participation, and partial compensation for partial participation. If you fit this criteria and are interested in participating, click the following link to our eligibility survey and consent process (or copy the link into your preferred Internet browser):
    If you have questions or concerns about participating, feel free to email
  • HART *Trans Masculine and Nonbinary Health Experiences Survey
    The Hunter HIV/AIDS Research Team (HART) at Hunter College is seeking men and non-binary individuals of trans masculine experience to participate in an online survey about their physical, sexual, and emotional health. Eligible participants will be invited to share their experiences via an online survey. Compensation will be offered for completion of the survey. To see if you are eligible and to take the survey, please visit:

Department of Defense (DoD) New s

DoD-Related Articles

Veteran Affairs (VA) News
TAVA is your liaison to the Department of Veterans Affairs. We actively advocate for transgender veterans at the VA level by providing input and advice internally. Daily, we assist veterans in coming out to their primary care doctors. We also assist in answering questions and providing needed clarifications on the VA health care directive for transgender care. If you experience any issues with the VA, please contact us. Visit
  • Release Of VA Records Relating To HIV -
  • Lesbian, Gay, Transgender Care At VA Recognized -
  • Three VA Hospitals Get Top HRC Rating -
  • Orlando VAMC Holds 2017 Pride Month Celebration -
  • Tucson VA Transgender Care -
  • White River Junction VA Works to Connect LGBTQ Vets with Community -
  • Two New VA Demographic Fields—
    The VA Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS) will show two new demographic fields: Birth Sex and Self identified Gender Identity (SIGI). Veterans may choose from a set of responses which include Male, Female, Transman, Transwoman, Other, or Individual chooses not to answer. The field currently labeled “Sex” will be relabeled “Birth Sex” with two options – Male or Female. There are established procedures for changing your name and sex with the VA Privacy Officer. If you would like a copy of the fact sheet on how to change your name and/or sex in CPRS, please let your health care provider know so they can obtain a copy for you.
  • VA LGBT Veteran Care Coordinators—
    Did you know that each VA Health Care System has at least one person designated to serve as an LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator? Put into place last spring, the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator uses the best practices for serving LGBT Veterans. They are available to help navigate the health care system and can offer assistance with coordination of care. They also can provide community resources. To find the LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator at your facility go to: or email     
True Stories of Transgender Service in Our Armed Forces 

Trans Veterans Lives is an ongoing TAVA project. The series features transgender veteran stories from across the world. If you have a story that you would like to share to share, please contact our media director, Denny at We look forward to hearing from YOU!


Healthy Mouth Movement - Day of Service for Veterans 
Veterans will receive free dental care at nearly 450 Aspen Dental Practices in 35 states! Help Support Aspen Dental's National Day of Service on Saturday, June 24, 2017. Aspen Dental offices in 35 states will open their doors to serve Veterans in their local communities as part of the Healthy Mouth Movement. Interested veterans should call 844-ASPEN-HMM to find a participating office and schedule an appointment in advance. FMI:
Find Support and Stay Connected
Trans Lifeline (877) 565-8860 is a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Volunteers are ready to respond and provide support.

Image result for veterans crisis lineVeterans Crisis Line (800) 273-8255 Press 1. The VCL connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with confidential assistance.

Image result for facebook logoAn extension of TAVA's successful Facebook page, the private group provides a safe-space to find info, resources and support. We would love to have you join us!

Now you can contact TAVA by phone (516) TAVA-911
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Transgender American Veterans Association · P.O. Box 4153 · Akron, OH 44310 · USA

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