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Quarterly Newsletter

Winter 2020

Evan Young, President, TAVA

Welcome to the 16th 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 and 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 our website at 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 or calling at (516) TAVA 911.

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

TAVA PatchWant your own TAVA Patch? We have them for sale on our website. Show your pride in your service as a transgender veteran. Put it on your jacket, hat, or any material that you can sew onto. TAVA Patches are $9.99 each and proceeds from the sale of the patch go right back to helping transgender veterans.

Raise Awareness


17th Annual LGBT Health Awareness Week - March 25-29, 2020

National LGBT Health Awareness WeekCreated in 2003, National LGBT Health Awareness Week features partner organizations who raise awareness of timely LGBT health issues.


International Transgender Day of Visibility - March 31, 2020

International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV)Created in 2009, TDoV is an annual observance that is a day dedicated to honoring transgender people and raising awareness about discrimination transgender people face across the globe. This is a day of empowerment, recognition and awareness.


Women's History Month - March 1 - 31, 2020

Women's History MonthThis is an annual month-long observance set aside to honor women's contributions in American history and society. The 2019 Women’s History Month theme is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.” The theme honors "women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society."


Brain Injury Awareness Month - March 1-31, 2020

Brain Injury Awareness MonthMarch begins Brain Injury Awareness Month, a time to recognize the more than 5 million Americans living with disabilities related to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The name of the campaign from 2018 to 2020 is "Change Your Mind."

TAVA Events


Transgender Military Retreat

Transgender Military RetreatRegistration is now for the Transgender American Veterans Association Transgender Military Retreat, a conference for building community and self-advocacy in Atlanta, September 25-27, 2020 at the Atlanta Midtown Hilton Garden Inn. Don't wait, sign up now! Seats are limited.

We are pleased to announce the following speakers that will educate and inspire our audience: Kristin Beck, Laila Ireland, Zander Keig, Andrea Zekis, Nicole VanSant, and Stephen Lessard. If you are a leader in your community, please let us know. We have an invitation only Leader's Meeting during the Retreat where TAVA President, Evan Young, Founding TAVA President, Monica Helms, and Former TAVA President, Angela Brightfeather, will speak.

Please download our flip book to learn more about each speaker and to view detailed programming information.

The weekend registration includes an optional Major League Baseball game featuring the Atlanta Braves against the Houston Astros where we will watch the game as a group at the Harrah's Cherokee Casinos Back Porch hospitality suite, located in center field just below the BravesVision scoreboard at Truist Park. Drinks, including beer and wine, and food provided (menu #1).

TAVA Votes Four onto Board of Directors


Ann Murdoch

Ann MurdochAnn enlisted in the Army in 1988 as a journalist, becoming the Public Affairs Officer for Fort Indiantown Gap, PA. Commissioned in 1992, she served as a rifle platoon leader and executive officer in the 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Hovey, Korea, and as instructor/doctrine writer and in a variety of battalion staff positions at the Infantry School. She commanded Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Operations Support Command (Airborne) then the 129h Adjutant General Company (Postal) at Fort Bragg, NC. In 2001, she become the Adjutant General (chief personnel officer) for the Defense Foreign Language Institute/ Foreign Language Center and Presidio of Monterey, CA and took a subsequent tour as ... Read More


Landon Marchant

Landon MarchantLandon Marchant is a veteran of the United States Air Force, former trade union apprentice, community college student, Point Foundation scholar, and senior at Williams College (MA) where they are double majoring in Philosophy and Sociology with a concentration in Science and Technology Studies. After graduation they plan to join ZX Ventures, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s corporate venture capital and innovation team based out of New York City. From 2009 to 2011 Landon served as an Aircraft Metals Technician. During this time, they were stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and recognized for intervening in two suicide attempts. Landon experienced underemployment, housing instability and food insecurity after the military, a cycle that was interrupted by an emergency ...Read More


Jordan Blisk

Jordan BliskFor the past several years, Jordan has been heavily involved in advocacy efforts for the trans community generally, and he has spoken publicly about trans military issues whenever presented with the opportunity. He first became involved with SPARTA in 2014 when he was serving in the Air Force, but since transferring to the IRR in 2015, his days of active military service are now becoming more and more distant from his current civilian life. He is excited for this opportunity to work with TAVA because involvement with this organization will to allow him to continue my military-related trans advocacy in the veteran spaces that better fit the stage of live he is in now. Jordan believes that his professional and personal credentials make him ...Read More


Alice Ashton

Alice AshtonAlice Ashton retires from the United States Navy on June 30, 2020 and is currently in the Skillbridge program to start a new profession in journalism with the Ask & Tell Project. She has a history of leadership and task management through the military and volunteer work. Alice served 6 years in the Air Force as a Korean Linguist and 14 years in the Navy as an Arabic Linguist. She eventually came to accept that she was transgender and came out while serving, being one of only about 1,400 transgender service members serving openly under the current regulations. She worked to mentor younger transgender service members on how to navigate the military healthcare and administrative systems, co-founded ...Read More

Promotions at TAVA


Zander Keig as Vice-President

Zander KeigZander Keig was unanimously voted as Vice-President of TAVA during the February Board Meeting. Zander is a leader in his professional career and with his volunteer work at TAVA. With a little over 5 years of service with the Transgender American Veterans Association, Zander has been an effective and strategic leader within TAVA. His skills, expertise and strong social work acumen in the transgender field has contributed to the solid execution of our operational strategies and substantial growth in helping transgender veterans. Supported by talented and dedicated board members, Zander will continue to play a key role in the success of TAVA. To learn more about Zander on our website, please visit


Landon Marchant as Secretary

Landon MarchantIn one of Landon's first acts as a TAVA board member, he stepped up and self-nominated himself as Secretary of the Board of Directors. With a full vote confirming his nomination, Landon takes over as being Secretary of TAVA in addition to his duties as social media co-director with Alice Ashton. Landon is motivated and excited for the challenges at the Transgender American Veterans Association. Learn more about Landon on our website at

Website Information


The TAVA website is regularly updated 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.


Items of Interest

  • Speaker's Bureau - TAVA has a variety of speaker opportunities all across the nation and sometimes even overseas. Become a member of the TAVA Speakers Bureau, where you can address government and civilian organizations, educational institutions, and corporate businesses on transgender military and veteran issues as well as the history of TAVA.
  • Ambassador Program - Our Ambassadors are groups of people that give their time, energy and support to help us in our work to bring equality to transgender veterans. They are an essential part of our work in raising awareness.
  • Event Requests for Speakers - Do you have an event that you would like TAVA to present at either as a guest speaker, keynote speaker, or panelist? Submit your event to see if we have a speaker that can fill your needs in 2 quick steps: register the event manager and submit your event.
  • 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.
  • VA Directive 1341(1) - VHA Updated the Transgender Directive. The update includes allowance of Electrolysis services when Laser Hair Removal is not a viable option for Veterans during pre-operative care. It can be found in appendix section of Directive in Q&A section 22. Print and take a copy with you to VA appointments.
  • Transgender Ban Talking Points - Talking points concerning the transgender military ban. You will find a wealth of information including common misconceptions, reflections, history, the decision, the policy, and additional resources with citations.
  • Press Releases and News - TAVA press releases and news.
  • FAQs - a know your rights section answering our most popular questions.
  • Journalist Tips - guidance for those writing on trans veterans and active duty service members.
  • DEERS Info - Frequently asked questions regarding changing your name and gender in DEERS.
  • Recommended Links - Government; Legal; LGBT Veteran and Military; National/Federal Agencies; VA and VA-related forms.
  • Veteran Benefits - Click on a state for benefit information such as Education Benefits; Financial Assistance; Employment Resources; Housing Links; Legal Resources; and other state benefits info. Check out below the map for national resources.

Watch TransMilitary on iTunes

TransMilitaryTransMilitary is now available on iTunes. Watch the critically acclaimed documentary of four transgender service members who fight to lift the ban on their service. Buy the 2018 Outfest selection & @SXSW Audience Award-winning doc at

DD-214 Assistance


DD-214 Name Change Guide

DD-214TAVA has the ability to connect people with pro bono attorneys to assist with upgrading your DD-214. In addition, TAVA always has a DD-214 name change guide available on our website. It gives example verbiage for the DD-149 Form, which is the Application for Correction of Military Records. If you require assistance, please message Evan, President of TAVA at For more info, visit

Support TAVA when you shop at Amazon



AmazonSmileYou can elect to have a small proceed of your purchases go to TAVA each time you shop with AmazonSmile. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to TAVA. 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:

TAVA Membership


Join Today!

Join TAVA!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 effective. Become a member and join a grassroots force which supports over 134,000 transgender veterans. Sign up and sign on at

TAVA Advocacy & Outreach


TAVA Advocacy & OutreachAs a grassroots organization, TAVA advocates for fair & equal treatment of transgender military veterans and service members using a combination of advocacy, outreach, & assistance. As prideful military veterans, you inspire us to do better. We take action for every veteran and wake each morning to fight even harder than the day before.

What are we up to?

  • "Transition" Memo - TAVA partners with Lambda Legal, MMAA, AVER, and SPARTA, creating a "transition" memo for the SECVA to shine a light on the issues that face LGBT veterans in the hopes of progress on improving the lives of not only transgender veterans, but also the entire LGBT spectrum of veterans. As a group, we are planning a round-table discussion to present the memo to the SECVA.
  • Joint Minority Veterans of America (MVA) and TAVA Rally on the transgender ban implementation anniversary to recognize the hardship endured by actively serving transgender service members since the administration's ban. Rally is on April 18, 2020 all across America with Boise and Richmond as cities where MVA will be organizing.
  • Joint LGBT Bar Association and TAVA Bro Bono Attorney Award for champion attorney and law firm in transgender rights. Nominations open soon. Stay tuned to the TAVA website for updates.

TAVA Upcoming Schedule

  • Southern Comfort - VP Zander Keig will attend a reception for Transgender Veterans (co-host), Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • Trans Military Rights Project - President Evan Young interview scheudled.
  • FL Chapter of the National Diversity Council- VP Zander Keig is speaking on April 1, 2020

Give to a Great Cause


YouGiveGoods TAVA Donation CampaignTAVA is gathering goods for our community outreach program during our Transgender Military Retreat. Share this far and wide to all your friends and be sure to make the post public, so your friends can share as well. Items don't cost much to help a veteran in need. Please take the time to share and to buy at least one item.

Make Your Voice Heard


Make Your Voice HeardTAVA 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 know. Look on our website in the coming months for results of these surveys.


TAVA's DD-214 Discharge Name Change Survey

TAVA survey for those who changed their name on their DD-214. If you're interested, please fill out the following survey here at Your responses will help us get a handle of the need for assistance.

TAVA's Trans Veteran's Voice 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 on our website at

True Stories of Trans Service in Our Armed Forces


Make Your Voice HeardTrans Veteran's Lives is an ongoing TAVA project. The series features transgender veteran stories from across the world. If you would like to share, contact TAVA media director, Denny Meyer at Read our latest story "Triumph of Determination," by Zander Keig, TAVA Vice President -

DoD and Military Articles of Interest


February 25, 2020 - Pentagon Funded Study Contradicts Trump's Argument for Trans Ban, The Advocate.

January 1, 2020 - Veterans need VHIC for in-person Commissary, Military Exchange, MWR access, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

December 31, 2019 - Trump trend: LGBTQ mentions quietly axed from discrimination guidelines, NBC News

December 30, 2020 - New in 2020: Another battle about transgender troops, Military Times

December 26 2019 - Living as Myself, At Last, NY Times.

December 20, 2019 - Pentagon Ordered to Turn Over Files Justifying Trans Military Ban, New Now Next

December 20, 2019 - The story of Louise Jennings, a 99-year-old transgender World War 2 veteran, Gay Community News (GCN)

December 18, 2019 - Federal Court To Pentagon: Turn Over Documents Used to Justify Transgender Military Ban, Moderan Military Association of America

December 16, 2019 - Construction of Navy Ship 'Harvey Milk' Begins in San Diego,

December 13, 2019 - LGBTQ Vets Seek Changes to NYS Law Aiming to Aid Them, Gay City News (GCN)

December 11, 2019 - LGBTQ Groups Denounce Defense Bill for Not Ending Trans Military Ban, New Now Next

December 11, 2019 - You're Part Of This: Transgender Military Ban, PBS

December 10, 2019 - House Democrats almost overturned Trump’s trans military ban. But the GOP stopped them, LGBTQ Nation

December 10, 2019 - Medically necessary transgender surgery now covered by Wisconsin Medicaid after legal battle, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

November 27, 2019 - Let’s work to reverse ban on transgender military service, Opinion, Cape Cod Times

Statewide Updates

Statewide Updates

Alabama, February 28, 2020 - Alabama Ban on Gender Therapies Moves Forward -

February 27, 2020 - Bill to ban performing transgender procedures on minors moves forward in Alabama Legislature -

Alaska, February 29, 2020 - Megan Youngren Became the First Openly Transgender Runner at Olympic Marathon Trials -

February 18, 2020 - Alaska state employee heads to court to challenge trans surgery exclusion in health care plan -

February 12, 2020 - Could Anchorage Become the First City in Alaska to Ban Conversion Therapy? -

Arizona, March 3, 2020 - Arizona House passes transgender ban for girls sports -

January 20, 2020 - Arizona settles suit alleging harassment of transgender officer -

January 17, 2020 - State rep. takes on transgender movement with 'pronoun' bill -

Arkansas, February 7, 2020 - Run for office when you’re ready; don’t wait on the world to be ready for you -

California, March 2, 2020 - More than half of active duty service members against transgender ban, survey says -

February 27, 2020 - Transgender ‘Gentefied’ Writer Camila Maria Concepcion Dies By Suicide At 28 -

February 27, 2020 - A Hospital Refused to Provide Medically Necessary Surgery Because I Am Transgender -

February 12, 2020 - Appeals court affirms right of transgender students to use restrooms of choice -

January 29, 2020 - Breaking: Bill would require CA public college diplomas to use transgender students' preferred names -

December 26, 2019 - First-Ever Transgender Bridge Home Opens in LA County -

Colorado, January 3, 2020 - Colorado’s transgender birth certificate law disregards biological reality -

February 26, 2020 - Gay, transgender 'panic' defense on tap before Legislature -

February 7, 2020 - 16-Year-Old Pleads Guilty to Murder in Colorado School Shooting -

Connecticut, February 12, 2020 - High school girls sue to block transgender athletes in Connecticut -

February 27, 2020 - Track Victory Has No Bearing On Transgender Runner Lawsuit, Attorneys Say -

Delaware February 25, 2020 - Trans candidate Sarah McBride has blazed many trails. Now she’s ready for a new challenge. -

Florida, March 2, 2020 - ‘Parents’ bill of rights’ proposal stalls in Florida Senate -

February 3, 2020 - Bill that would restrict medical treatments for transgender youth lies dormant -

Georgia, March 2, 2020 - New TransParent chapter opening in Atlanta

Hawaii, February 8, 2020 - Bill to create an LGBTQ+ commission wins state House panel’s preliminary approval -

Idaho, March 1, 2020 - Idaho targets transgender people, birth certificate changes -

February 27, 2020 - Transgender athletes bill passes Idaho House, as anti-trans youth treatment bill dies -

Illinois, February 20, 2020 - Illinois’s Equitable Restrooms Act is a victory for all -

February 14, 2020 - Palatine-based high school district settles transgender discrimination lawsuit, ending four-year battle over locker room access -

January 15, 2020 - Illinois Updating Birth Certificates for Transgender Dads -

Indiana, February 17, 2020 - USI student is pushing for more 'gender-neutral' bathrooms

Iowa, February 8, 2020 - Iowa bills create restrictions for transgender students playing sports and lessons on LGBT topics -

Kansas, February 6, 2020 - Kan. lawmaker's proposed bill spurs debate on transgender youth in sports -

Kentucky, February 28, 2020 - Bill allows new birth certificate for transgender people -

February 25, 2020 - Kentucky bill would allow healthcare providers to deny treatment that violates their beliefs -

Louisiana, March 2, 2020 - Louisiana Bill Would Ban Trans Athletes in Women’s Sports -

Maine, February 20, 2020 - Maine considering nonbinary option for birth certificates -

Maryland, March 2, 2020 - Name change bill passes Maryland House -

Massachusetts, January 23, 2020 - Husband of transgender activist Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien admits to her murder; sentenced to life in prison -

Michigan, February 23, 2020 - Local organizations offer support for transgender, nonconforming gender youth -

January 15, 2020 - Michigan May Add ‘Nonbinary’ Driver’s License Option -

Minnesota, February 26, 2020 - LGBTQ+ student group to host legal name change clinic -

December 30, 2019 - Medicaid Should Cover Gender Treatments for Trans Youth in Every State -

Mississippi, March 2, 2020 - Mississippi bill would restrict transgender athletes from some sports teams -

Missouri, February 26, 2020 - Democrats call new proposed legislation “harmful to the LGBTQ community” -

February 19, 2020 - Ozarks rep wants public vote on new rules targeting transgender athletes -

Montana, December 10, 2019 - MN Joins States With Specialized Clinics for Transgender Youth -

Nebraska, March 3, 2020 - Backers plan big push for Nebraska Legislature to pass law banning LGBT discrimination -

Nevada, March 2, 2020 - Amid Homeless Crisis, LGBTQ Safety Dorm Opens In Las Vegas -

New Hampshire, February 27, 2020 - Anti-trans bills killed in New Hampshire and Idaho (but many others survive) -

New Jersey, February 17, 2020 - New Jersey bans LGBTQ panic defense -

January 22, 2020 - N.J. bans gay and transgender 'panic defenses' -

January 9, 2020 - New Jersey becomes second state to adopt law mandating gay and transgender curriculum -

New Mexico, January 19, 2020 - House Democrats call for ICE to release transgender detainees from ‘inhumane’ facilities -

New York, February 3, 2020 - NY state park to be renamed after transgender advocate -

December 17, 2019 - New York City to add gender-neutral option to death certificates

North Carolina, February 25, 2020 - 2 transgender candidates seeking office in NC, making state history -

February 10, 2020 - Transgender student sues school for being denied access to boys' bathroom -

North Dakota, March 3, 2020 - 2020 Fargo-Moorhead Women's March set for Saturday -

Ohio, February 27, 2020 - Ohio bill would ban transgender athletes from female sports -

Oklahoma, January 9, 2020 - New Jersey becomes second state to adopt law mandating gay and transgender curriculum -

January 2, 2020 - Transgender Man Shot to Death While Driving Taxi in Oklahoma -

Oregon, January 30, 2020 - Idaho man found guilty of hate crime after beating transgender woman over bathroom use on Oregon coast -

Pennsylvania, March 2, 2020 - Philadelphia Police Academy Graduates Its First Openly Transgender Officer -

Puerto Rico, February 25, 2020 - Puerto Rico Gov. Says Fatal Shooting of Transgender Woman Is Hate Crime -

Rhode Island, November 13, 2019 - Rhode Island & New York restore military benefits to LGBTQ veterans -

South Carolina, February 27, 2020 - South Carolina sued over restrictions on LGBTQ+ sex education -

South Dakota, January 29, 2020 - HB 1057 Transgender Bill moves forward -

Tennessee, January 8, 2020 - New Tennessee Law Deepens Discrimination Against LGBT People -

February 17, 2020 - LGBTQ Tennesseans are 'saddened,' 'disappointed' by new adoption law -

Texas, February 26, 2020 - Texas GOP platform plank would criminalize doctors treating trans kids -

February 15, 2020 - Meet the Transgender Woman Running for Texas House District 83 -

Utah, November 17, 2019 - Transgender woman says she was forced to remove makeup for her driver’s license photo -

Vermont, February 24, 2020 - 'If I get killed, it's not going to be an accident': Progressive family in VT faces threats, vandalism -

Virginia, March 3, 2020 - Virginia Is First Southern State to Ban Conversion Therapy for Minors -

February 28, 2020 - Bill allows new birth certificate for transgender people -

January 30, 2020 - Va. House of Delegates approves Transgender Day of Remembrance resolution -

December 14, 2019 - “Ask a Trans Person” panel series comes to Hampton library -

Washington, February 28, 2020 - Washington passes ban on gay and trans panic defenses for homicide -

West Virginia, February 28, 2020 - ACLU appeals in case alleging WV trans teen harassment -

February 11, 2020 - A long journey awaits transgender migrants in detention -

Wisconsin, March 3, 2020 - High school closes gender-neutral bathroom after student is arrested for sexually assaulting another student -

February 20, 2020 - Wisconsin parents suing school district for letting students switch genders without notice -

Wyoming, February 4, 2020 - Casper City Council Approve Creating ‘LGBTQ Advisory Committee’ -

Find Support and Stay Connected


Trans Lifeline

Trans LifelineTrans Lifeline (877) 565-8860 is a hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Volunteers are ready to respond and provide support:


Veterans Crisis Line

Veterans Crisis LineVeterans Crisis Line (800) 273-8255 Press 1. The VCL connects Veterans in crisis and their families and friends with confidential assistance:


TAVA Closed Facebook & TABI Bot

TAVA Closed Facebook GroupAn 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! In addition, we have added our new Transgender Answer Bot Integration (TABI), which answers common questions that transgender veterans have. Just click on Send Message from our main Facebook public page or at our Facebook messenger URL at Click Get Started and start a conversation with TABI.


Call TAVADo you need to talk to someone? Have an idea for a TAVA project? Are you being discriminated against at the VA? You can contact TAVA by phone at (516) TAVA 911. You can also send us a message from our online contact form at Someone will get back with you within 24-48 hours by email when using our contact form.

Copyright © 2020 Transgender American Veterans Association, All rights reserved.

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