The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)

 Quarterly Newsletter                                     Winter 2018
Know Your Rights
Become A Member
TAVA President Message

Welcome to the 9th issue of The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) e-Newsletter! The aim of this publication is to keep you informed and updated 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 and community. 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)


TAVA Welcomes New Board Member 
In January 2018, TAVA proudly welcomed Major (Ret.) Nella Ludlow to our board of directors. Nella's collective experience and leadership skills will take TAVA to higher levels of engagement, benefiting America’s transgender veterans across the country. Major Ludlow honorably retired from the Air Force after 16 years of active duty in the late 1990s. She served as a pilot, an intelligence officer, a research scientist, and as a professor in the Computer Science Department at the Naval Postgraduate School. Read Nella's full bio here  

Website Information 

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...
  • Beneficiary Form - Newly added to the website , TAVA now has a Beneficiary Form with instructions. Generally, you can name anyone, even a charity, as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy or retirement account. To help make this process easier, TAVA has posted full instructions with a short form in the event you elect to name TAVA as your beneficiary.  
  • 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.
  • 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-BlogIn 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
Save The Date! TAVA’s Upcoming Inaugural Conference  

TAVA and WPATH will hold a conference June 6-8 in Washington DC with a laying of a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier the afternoon of the 8th at 3:45 pm. 

Guest speakers include LGBT Director for the VA,
Jillian Shipherd, Lambda Legal’s Sasha Burkett speaking on the state of our federal case for gender confirming surgery against the VA, and Orrick Law Firm’s Steve Lessard speaking on DD 214 name changes, with a clinic to assist veterans in changing their name on their DD 214.

Registration opens April 2nd. Please check and for updates soon. 
Support TAVA each time you shop with AmazonSmile

Now through March 31, Amazon is tripling the donation rate on your first eligible purchase at To make your purchases, please  visit  

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. For More Information: 


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 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. 

  • TAVA Press Release Concerning Trans Military Service 
    TAVA was deeply disappointed regarding President Trump's heartless tweet, prohibiting transgender military service. TAVA continues to work actively with key organizations, creating a unified front. TAVA will provide unwavering support for our transgender service members and veterans past, present, and future. Read the full PR here -
  • Judge Ruling on Trans Ban
    The ruling for transgender service members was no surprise. The ban against transgender military members on the surface seemed unconstitutional. The judge found that the current administrations justification for the ban against persons who merely want to serve their country was suspect and likely unconstitutional -
  • Rutgers Univ. LGBT Symposium
    TAVA President Evan was one of 5 panelists for all-day conference.The event was filmed and will be used in an upcoming all-university symposium.
  • North County Pride Tabling, Oceanside, CA
    Board Member Zander represented TAVA at this annual event. Zander spoke with many folks who stopped by the TAVA table.
  • Out 100 
    "I am so proud to have been part of this project and to represent Transgender American Veterans Association and the estimated 134,000 transgender veterans. The patriot featured in this picture have dedicated their lives to the promotion of peace and equality. I am honored to have been able to stand next to them. Semper Fidelis." - Kimberly Moore, TAVA Board Member

  • SD LGBT Comm Center LGBT Vet Wall of Honor 
    Board Member Zander was an honored inductee at this year's San Diego LGBT Community Center, Benjamin F. Dillingham, III & Bridget Wilson LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor. The Induction Ceremony was held on November 9 in San Diego. Zander received a stack of certificates, like the one below. Many congratulations Zander and thank you for your continued dedication and service to veterans!

  • Veterans Day Advocate Article
    TAVA President Evan interviewed with the Advocate and discussed the collective work TAVA does in bringing the transgender veteran community together.

  • NCTE Veterans Day Report
    TAVA is proud to join forces with the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) in their publication of the Veterans Day Report that NCTE's Research Department put together from data in the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. FMI, please visit
  • NewNowNext Article
    TAVA President Evan Young teamed up with NewNowNext, Laila & Logan Ireland, and Riley Dosh to discuss what it means to be an LGBT Service Member and what it means to celebrate Veterans Day.

  • Uber panel
    On Nov 13, 2017, TAVA President Evan attended and represented for TAVA on this exceptional panel, hosted by UberVETERANS and UberPRIDE, to discuss supporting our trans* veterans and service members. Uber Transgender Military event speakers: Transgender American Veterans Association, Outserve/SLDN, Human Rights Campaign, American Military Partners Association, Zoe Dunning, Transgender Law Center, The Camouflage Closet, and VA Palo Alto Health Care System. What an honor to share the stage with these powerful change agents!

  • Board Member Speaks at NYC TDOR
    TAVA Board Member Denny was invited to speak at the 2017 TDOR outdoor candlelight vigil in Queens, NY. Invited leaders of the LGBT and Trans community showed up to speak. Several LGBT community leaders spoke, including Denny.

  • Urban Justice Center Panel
    On November 28th, TAVA President Evan was a panelist and speaker on the Transgender Military ban, including the history of LGBTQ people in the military, the current state of the ban, and the likely future from here. This event brought together experts in the field including The Transgender American Veterans Association (Evan), the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project, and the National LGBT Bar Association. Co-hosted by the NYC LGBT Center. To watch the event, please visit -

  • LGBT Breakfast at the French Consulate
    On Nov 28, 2017, TAVA President Evan attended an LGBT Breakfast at the French Consulate to discuss the next Gay Games in France.

  • Lobby Day / Advocacy at D.C. Capitol
    On December 06, 2017, TAVA Board Member Kimberly proudly represented TAVA at ths year's Lobby Day. The focus was on advocacy for legislative solution for continued open trans service. Kimberly, along with Army Col. (Ret.) Suzanne Wheeler, Army Col. (Ret.) Sheri Swokowski, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Blake Dremann, and Air Force Maj. Bryan (Bree) Fram met with staffers of both the House and Senate as well as with Rep. Claudia Tenney's office. Many thanks to NCTE for hosting this critical event.
  • Trans 101 for VA Staff 
    Over the last few months, TAVA VP Gene presented, alongside key VA staff, Trans 101 presentations for VA Northern California providers, nursing students and front line staff. 

  • VA LGBT Safe Zone Training
    TAVA VP Gene, along with Artur Akkerman (VA Nor Cal LGBT Care Coordinator) and JoAnna Michaels (VoA Nor Cal) presented this training. It is aimed at VA Staff and Community Providers/Organizations who work with Veterans.  As a reminder, we still offer two other LGBT Trainings: Transgender 101 and LGBT Cultural Competency Training For Health Care Providers. The training addresses the following:  
    LGBT Terminology; Coming Out Process Model; the Transgender Experience; Understanding Privilege; How To Be An Effective Ally; Creating a Welcoming Environment; Resources.

  • USA Today Board Member Interview
    TAVA Board Member Zander interviewed with USA Today regarding Transgender Military recruits. "What kind of acceptance they find from boot camp to active duty may vary by unit, said Zander Keig, a Transgender American Veterans Association board member.
  • NewNowNext Article
    TAVA President Evan was interviewed a 2nd time by NewNowNext.
  • Springboard Disability Conference 2018
    TAVA VP Gene was the invited keynote speaker for the Springboard Disability 2018 Conference. Gene spoke at this one-day forum regarding the intersectionality of LGBT, Veteran, and Disabled.
  • Pride of the Ocean LGBT Military Cruise
    TAVA President Evan represented TAVA at a week-long cruise consultation for 2019. 
  • University of Mary Washington Engagement
    Board Member Kimberly was invited for a second year in a row by Dr. Ruuskanen to present her personal story. Kimberly's story was shared with a class Dr. Ruuskanen co-teaches, concerning the transgender experience.  Kimberly shared her journey, discussed her time in the military, her struggle in living and working under the ban, and living authentically. The response was overwhelmingly positive. After the class, a half dozen students personally thanked Kimberly for sharing her story and enlightening them on how to be a better ally and demystifying the transgender individual.
TAVA Upcoming Schedule
  • March 16, 2018 - Denny - Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNS NY) LGBT and LGBT veteran patients outreach. Denny will assist. VNS provides VA contracted Home Nursing and Home Care to patients who have been sent home following surgery and hospital stays.
  • March 19, 2018 - Gene - USF LGBT Safe Zone Training, Mather VA Medical Center, Mather, CA. 
  • April 11-13, 2018 - Evan - HRC Arkansas "Equal Care for Equal Lives: LGBT Persons Throughout the Ages." Evan is a co-presenter of the workshop. Cost is $50  for conference attendance. Scholarships are available.  
  • April 18-19, 2018 - Denny - "Do Ask Do Tell, Justice" Harvard Law School forum, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA. Denny is scheduled to be a panelist. 
  • May 17, 2018 - Evan - NCTE Trans Equality Now Awards - Washington D.C.
  • May 29 - May 31, 2018 - Gene - Cal Vet 2018 Leadership Summit - Trans 101 Cultural Comp. Training, Sacramento, CA.
  • TBD 2018 – Gene - Trans 101 for VA Staff - Mather VA Medical Center, Mather, CA. 
  • June 06-09, 2018 - TAVA’s Upcoming Inaugural Conference - Washington, D.C.
  • June 08, 2018 - Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier - 3:45 p.m. - Arlington, VA.
  • October 2018 - Evan - 8th Conference on Transgender Health - Keynote Speaker - New York City.
  • June 2019 - Evan - LGBT Military History with Pride of the Ocean film festival.


2019 Pride of the Ocean Festival

In June 2019, TAVA will be joining Pride of the Ocean Cruises for Stonewall50, a cruise honoring LGBTQ veterans and first responders. The cruise is set aboard the Norwegian Dawn and leaves from New York City on June 8, 2019, days before the city celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots.

Please keep an eye out for signing up for the cruise. Current TAVA members will receive a discount off. So, we encourage folks to join TAVA before signing up for the cruise -

In addition to screenings and workshops, the program will also delve into the stories of LGBTQ veterans and first responders. For more information -


Benevity Causes

Thanks to Benevity, TAVA has been able to receive numerous generous donations. Benevity allows TAVA to connect our causes and advocacy to corporate giving, matching and volunteering programs. If your company uses Benevity, you can immediately give now. For more info visit


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 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
  • Research Study on the HealthCare Experiences of Queer anTransgender People of Color (QTPOC)
    Are you interested in contributing to research looking at healthcare experiences? If yes, consider being part of an IRB approved research study for a Master's thesis looking at your experiences! If you are over 18, identify as LGBTQ+, and as a person of color (POC), you are eligible to take a survey and/or participate in a one-on-one interview with the researcher about your experiences. For the survey, please visit For more information or to schedule interviews, email the researcher at

  • Moral Injury and Trans Veterans Survey  
    This is an anonymous survey created by trans-identified researchers, for veterans who identify as transgender. You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding your gender & faith identity, if you have been exposed to moral injury during your military service, and the number of symptoms you may experience associated with trauma. The results will be used for academic purposes, including publication. Please do not write anything that you would not feel comfortable having quoted in publication.
  • Pride Study
    Join the first longitudinal health study of LGBTQ people today. The PRIDE Study is the first large-scale, long-term health study of people who identify LGBTQ or another sexual or gender minority. By participating in The PRIDE Study over time, your unique story teaches us about the health and well-being of LGBTQ people like you.

  • VA Healthcare Satisfaction Needs Assesment
    Participants are needed for a VA Healthcare Satisfaction Needs Assesment. This study is being conducted as part of a Master of Public Health course at Rollins College. The purpose of the research study is to discover opinions on the healthcare provided to veterans by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Even if you decide to participate now, you may change your mind and stop at any time. Visit the following link for more information

  • The Experiences of Trans Military Service Members and Veterans with Non-Military Mental Health Providers
    Interested in participating in a study of trans military vets and service members and their experiences with mental health professionals? You may have the option of taking a 10-minute survey, participating in an interview, or both. $10 Amazon gift cards and a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card are available. For more information, please
    Drs. Deanna Cor at or Megan Shaine at

Department of Defense (DoD) Related News

DoD and Military Articles of Interest

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
  • VA Central Office Updated Its Policy Provision of Wigs to Include the Needs of Transgender Veterans 
    In the case of transgender Veterans, PSAS can provide a wig with the same parameters as noted above for maintenance and replacement frequency. For transgender women if the Veteran has significant hair loss and her medical provider documents the medical necessity of a female style wig to support her identity and treatment plan, PSAS can provide a wig. A wig is not provided if the Veteran has a full head of hair that can be styled as a female. For transgender men the hair can be cut and styled such to support the appearance of being male. If there is hair loss as noted above, a male hair style wig can be provided. For more info on this, pleace contact Artur Akkerman, Northern California VA LGBT Care Coordinator - 

  • HRC LGBT Health Equality Index Leadership Status
    VA Palo Alto received the 2017 HRC LGBT Health Equality Index Leadership Status. Their campus was one 1 of only 2 VA's in California and 44 VA's in the country to receive this designation! -

  • VA NorCal Proudly Presents VA Transgender Health Care Brochures 
    VA NorCal is excited to announce that to better serve our Transgender Veterans, VA Northern California has rolled out a Transgender Health Care Brochure. This brochure was developed by two Transgender Veterans who are members of VA NorCal’s LGBT Veterans Advocacy Group.  If you would like one or are interested in additional information, please contact VA Northern California LGBT Veteran Care Coordinator Artur Akkerman directly

  • 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 Fact Sheet: How to Change Your Name in VA Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS)
    Associated fact sheet on how to change one's name within VA CPRS. If the request was routed correctly (i.e. the request was given to the Privacy Officer) it ought to be quick. If the form is given to any other person besides a privacy officer, the change will only happen locally and will be overwritten by the national VA database within 3-6 months. In order for the change to be permanent, you must make the change with a privacy officer.

  • 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     
  • BeThere for Veterans and Service Members
    No matter what you're experiencing, there's support for getting your life on a track. To find Veteran resources most helpful for you, fill in your ZIP code or state and check the boxes of the programs or topics you are interested in at
True Stories of Transgender Service in Our Armed Forces 

Trans Veterans Lives is an ongoing TAVA project. The series features trans 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  Read the latest Trans Veterans Lives story "Vietnam Always Makes Me Cry," by Loretta Violet Skreyjo -

Transgender Health Articles
What follows is a list of recently released transgender health care articles.

Reports, Studies, & Resources 

Over the past few months, we compiled recent transgender-related reports and studies for your records. They come from a variety of sources.  

Big Changes Coming for Domestic Travel in 2018

As reported by Travel and Leisure, as of January 22, 2018, nine states will no longer allow travelers to board an airplane with just their state issued driver’s licenses. To get past TSA security checkpoints, another form of ID will be required such as: passport, permanent resident card/green card or a military ID. We are sharing this news so residents in these 9 states can prep, especially since our community may have a more difficult time getting a passport. To assist, TAVA has a Passport Facility Locator on our website to assist with your prep:

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
Contact Us 
Google Plus
Google Plus
©2013 Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) *All rights reserved* 

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Transgender American Veterans Association · P.O. Box 4153 · Akron, OH 44310 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp