Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)

 Quarterly Newsletter                                     Spring 2016
Know Your Rights Become A Member
TAVA President Message
Dear Veterans, 

Welcome to the fourth 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 will bring you regular information on new TAVA initiatives, our new TAVA partners, conferences TAVA will send a representative to and news items of interest for the transgender veteran. To make sure that you stay connected, please subscribe to our 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 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 on our website at to submit your message. 

We stand with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in love will conquer hate in response to the senseless act of terrorism during our pride month celebration. Our brothers, sisters, family, and allies were targeted and our freedom and resolve tested. As veterans, we are keenly aware of that price for freedom, and I personally call on each and everyone to step up their situational awareness and be safe out there.

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

Support TAVA each time you shop with AmazonSmile

Anytime you shop on Amazon, you can elect to have a small proceed of your purchases go directly to TAVA. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. With Father's Day coming up, this is a great way to support transgender veterans and get a gift for dad! Please be sure to select TAVA to add our organization as your charity of choice at AmazonSmile at

TAVA Website Updates

Over the past few months, we have continued to make updates to our newly redesigned website. This version is user-friendly and allows for simple navigation and access to important resources and information. Here are some of the recent additions to the website

  • Trans Support Locator - new categories for LGBT Community Centers and University/College Pride Centers have been added. In addition, you can even submit location listings near you.
  • "For The History Books" - videos highlighting transgender veterans and service members from all eras of service. 
  • Story Submission - we are currently seeking DD 214 personal stories on how changing your name changed your life. You can submit your story directly to TAVA's Media Director on our website.
  • "Tribute Gift" - make a donation in memory of a veteran. 
  • "About Us" - updated TAVA history website page. 
  • Journalist Tips - guidance for those writing on transgender veterans and service members.

    Stay tuned as we continue to make more updates
    • Additional benefits page.
    • TAVA Pride Store - We heard your request and are building a store for items that educate the public on our issues. Get ready for our awesome T-shirts, Challenge Coins, and Patches.

TAVA Membership

Members are the foundation of TAVA’s strength. Our membership model allows anyone to join regardless of financial ability. Choose what level best meet your needs and abilities. Your generous gift enables TAVA’s programs,
advocacy and outreach to be stronger and 
more effective. Become a member today and 
join a grassroots force which supports over 
134,000 transgender veterans in their quest for equality. Thank you! For more info, please visit


TAVA Advocacy And Outreach
Since our last newsletter, TAVA has continued to advocate for open trans military service, benefits for trans service members, spouses and family members, and transgender well-being throughout the VA system. TAVA has continued to serve as an educational organization by providing outreach at various conferences and VA hospitals. TAVA has helped the VA and the Department of Defense to better understand those service members in their charge that identify as gender-variant. As military veterans that have served proudly, we continue to serve so that others may serve openly and proudly, regardless of gender. TAVA stands by to assist whenever and wherever we can. If you are having issues with the VA, please submit your message here:

TAVA President Attends Roundtable Discussion at Pentagon
TAVA National President Evan Young was invited and honored to attend “Re- Affirming the Navy's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion" Roundtable Discussion at the Pentagon. The event was hosted by The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy. To read Evan's article about the event, visit

TAVA Represents At Transgender Day of Empowerment
TAVA Board Member Zander Keig proudly
represented TAVA at the 2016 San Diego and North County Transgender Day of Empowerment. This event celebrates the
rich diversity of the San Diego transgender community. For more information, visit

TAVA Elects Vice President of the Board of Directors
TAVA announced the election of Gene Silvestri as Vice President of the Board of Directors. The TAVA Board responsible for policy decisions, authorizing rule making and overseeing TAVA’s operations. Gene is a U.S. Army disabled transgender veteran, and he currently serves as the Veterans Affairs Coordinator for The American Military Partner Association (AMPA). Gene also serves as TAVA’s social media director, along as the assistant website director. You can read the full press release at

TAVA Attends 2016 AVER National Convention
TAVA Board Members Denny Meyer and   Jamie Ewing proudly represented TAVA at this year's AVER annual convention in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The convention was especially poignant because the room was filled with many distinguished LGBT retired, disabled, and enlisted service members from all eras of service. The attendees had an opportunity to visit AVER Albuquerque's new LGBT Veteran's monument. Read Denny's full account here:  

TAVA Board Member Featured In OUT Magazine
 TAVA Board Member Kimberly Moore was  one of several transgender veterans and  service members featured in the article  "Trans in the Military: How the Face of  Service is Changing." You can read the
 full article at

TAVA Represents At Philly Trans Health Conference
For a second year in a row, TAVA attended the Philly Trans Health Conference. Board Member Kimberly Moore was excited to represent TAVA at this annual event. For more information on the conference visit 

TAVA Upcoming Conference Schedule
  • June 14, 2016 - Marine Corps Sunset Parade - TAVA Board Member Kimberly Moore will be attending the parade in honor of Women in the Naval Service with Guest of Honor The Honorable Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, at the Marine Corps War Memorial, Arlington, Virginia. For more information visit
  • August 4-6, 2016 - 2016 Lavender Law® Conference and Career Fair - TAVA National President Evan Young will be speaking at this annual conference. For more information 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 know.

  • DD 214 Survey - TAVA has a survey available online for those veterans that have attempted to change their DD Form 214 and received a response back from their service board. The survey can be found on our website and at this link:
  • VA 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
  • Lambda Legal and Transgender Law Center Petition VA to Provide Surgery for Transgender Veterans - Lambda Legal and Transgender Law Center, with co-counsel WilmerHale, petitions the VA on behalf of TAVA and group of individual veterans to change the ruling that excludes transition related surgery for transgender veterans. Read the petition filed here: Sign the petition here:
  • Trans* PDHC Survey - The purpose of this survey is to understand experiences or perceptions of discrimination in healthcare settings that one may have had based on being transgender. This voluntary survey is designed to measure perceptions by trans* people of discrimination they may encounter while using or trying to access healthcare services. Take the survey here:

VA Updates

TAVA is your liaison to the VA. We actively advocate for transgender veterans at the VA level by providing input and advice internally to the VA. TAVA stands by to assist whenever and wherever we can. If you are experiencing issues with the Veterans Administration, please contact us here:
  • VA Looks To End Transgender Surgeries Ban - TAVA is happy to announce that the VA is looking to end the ban on transgender related surgeries at the VA. This is in part because of the petition filed where TAVA is an organizational plaintiff. The proposed rule is pending is but expected to be announced in the coming months. You can read more here: will be sharing more as soon as we receive updated information.
  • VA Celebrates LGBT Pride Month - During Pride Month, the VA reaffirms its commitment to LGBT Veterans by continuing to promote a welcoming environment that is inclusive of ALL Veterans and employees. The VA continues to provide information, guidance and education to VHA providers about LGBT health issues. For more information, please visit:
  • VHA Trans Directive Workgroup - Earlier this year, TAVA Board Member Zander Keig was invited to participate on the updated Veteran Healthcare Administration Directive on Transgender Care Workgroup! The workgroup is charged with reviewing the current VA Transgender Directive, which will be outdated soon. TAVA will be sharing more information on this as it becomes available. The current directive can be found on our website here:
  • Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Launches Inter-Facility Consults Available For Transgender Veteran Care - The LGBT Program in VA Patient Care Services and designated VHA transgender healthcare experts in Minneapolis MN, Tucson AZ, and Loma Linda, CA have developed an Inter-Facility Consult (IFC) for Transgender Veteran care to support clinical services and increase access to high-quality care for Veterans and promote clinical competence for providers. The consults serve to address questions from these from these four areas: (1) Mental Health Evaluation and Hormone Readiness; (2) Psychotherapy; (3) Primary care; and (4) Prescribing Medications.The access is available as an inter-facility consult within Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS). If you have further questions on this, please contact us here:
  • TAVA Listed On VA ODI LGBT Resource Page - We are happy to report that TAVA is now listed as an LGBT Organization on the VA Office of Diversity and Inclusion LGBT resource page!! You can see the full listing at
  • VA LGBT Health Awareness Month - In March, the VA observed LGBT Health Awareness month. This year’s theme, "Let’s Talk! Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Matter in Health Care," encourages patient-provider communication to facilitate patient trust, disclosure, and positive health outcomes. LGBT Health Awareness Week is an important time to bring attention to the unique health needs of LGBT Americans. For more information about the VA LGBT Program, visit:
  • VA Listed On Healthcare Equality Index - Out of 114 VA medical centers (VAMC) who participated in the 2016 Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Healthcare Equality Index (HEI), 96 facilities achieved Leader Status. The 96 facilities represent the highest number achieving Leader Status since VHA-wide HEI participation began in 2013. To read the full index, visit:
  • VA Online LGBT Veteran Program - TAVA is pleased to report that there is a new VA LGBT Veteran Program internet site online. This website includes LGBT Veteran outreach materials, VA policies, and trainings – and is available outside the VA intranet to veterans and the general public. You can check out the VA Online LGBT Veteran Program at
  • Oregon VA Hires Nation's First LGBT Veterans Advocate - Announced on May 26, the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs has hired a coordinator for LGBT veterans. You can read the full article here:  

Your Voice, Your Story

TAVA is currently seeking stories on how changing your DD 214 has changed your life in a positive way. Regardless of when you served, we want to hear your story. Tell us your experience by submitting your story on our website here: We look forward to reading it and thank you for your service. We will contact you if we have questions.


TAVA supports Transmilitary in their quest for bringing this documentary to the big screen. Funders and distributers have complimented this film, but want to see a rough cut before they invest. Please check out Transmilitary's NEW trailer and give what you can to their Kickstarter campaign so that this feature documentary is playing on a screen near you! 


Stay Connected 
Now, there are more ways to stay connected to TAVA! 
Twitter - TAVA has an active Twitter feed providing you the latest news on areas of interest. If you are on Twitter, please follow us at

Closed Facebook Group - This group is an extension of our successful Facebook page. The private group provides our followers with a safe-space location in which to share information, resources and find support. If you follow us on Facebook, we would love to have you join the private group!

YouTube Channel - TAVA now has a custom YouTube Channel. We have added videos including a photo collage of transgender veterans. Be sure to subscribe to the TAVA YouTube Channel so you can stay updated. Our goal is to reach 100 subscribers:

Google + - TAVA's latest social media connection. We will be adding content in the coming months.
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