Thousands of HRC Members Submit Public Comments With One Message—Trans Veterans Deserve Care

More than 2,000 LGBTQ people and allies from across the nation joined HRC in responding to a request for public comments regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs’ current discriminatory policy prohibiting the VA from providing gender affirming surgeries to veterans.  

Access to comprehensive transition related care is essential to promoting the health and well being of transgender people. The American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Family Physicians and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have issued public statements over the past decade that consistently conclude transition related care is both medically necessary and the appropriate treatment for gender dysphoria.

Despite these conclusive findings, the Trump-Pence administration continues to blatantly challenge surgery as a medically-validated option to treat gender dysphoria, undermining the health of transgender veterans. HRC members and supporters have made it clear that the current prohibition conflicts directly with the best practices for transgender care and is blatantly discriminatory.

1/ Hello, this is @HRC Press Secretary Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer). As a transgender woman and veteran, I’m doing an #HRCTwitterTakeover to urge people to take action and tell @DeptVetAffairs that trans vets deserve medically necessary care. https://t.co/eMM3t5sj59 pic.twitter.com/34lf6IWAc4

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

2/ The vast majority of Americans are in total agreement: ensuring service members and their families receive care and respect.

Yet the Trump-Pence administration continues going after trans troops and now veterans. This is simply unacceptable. — @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

3/Few things unite the country as much as the effort to provide compassionate & competent care for veterans. As a trans vet, I’m heartbroken that for as much reverence I received, my status as a trans person seems to painfully supersede that service.-@cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

4/ For decades, the @DeptVetAffairs excluded coverage of medically necessary surgical procedures for transgender troops suffering from stress and anxiety of trying to align their gender identity with their presentation. — @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

5/ This exclusion flies in the face of every major medical authority. @DeptVetAffairs acknowledged research showing that severe medical consequences can arise if transition-related surgeries and procedures are not provided. — @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover https://t.co/3xdj9BaRrR

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

6/ Under Trump-Pence, the VA has maintained the exclusion policy. It’s not the first time they attacked trans people serving. After @realDonaldTrump tweeted a ban on trans troops, a bipartisan choir spoke out against the unconstitutional policy. – @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover pic.twitter.com/UKfhOP4cWe

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

7/ Now, we are called to protect trans veterans, but the window is quickly closing on our ability to oppose this discriminatory and dangerous rule. Public comments are due �������� ������������. Take some time to submit one. – @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover https://t.co/eMM3t5sj59

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

8/ This administration is using the same discredited excuses that they have invoked to justify their ban on open service to now target medically necessary health care for trans vets. Tell @realDonaldTrump & @mike_pence that trans vets deserve care. – @cmclymer #HRCTwitterTakeover

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

9/9 Take action with @HRC NOW. Tell the @DeptVetAffairs that ALL veterans deserve medically necessary care, regardless of who they are, from a grateful nation they so honorably served. Read more about this in my latest piece for @TheAdvocateMag. https://t.co/1i1Auj3qvF

— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) September 6, 2018

Health care decisions should be left to patients and health care providers. They should be based solely on the current standards of care and not on political convenience or partisan ideology.  

HRC stands with transgender veterans and demands that the VA put our veterans — and their health — first.

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Ohio Agency Awarded All Children – All Families Seal of Recognition

On August 15, HRC awarded Northeast Ohio Adoption Services (NOAS) with the All Children – All Families Seal of Recognition as a Leader in Supporting and Serving LGBTQ Youth & Families. HRC Board of Directors Member Suzanne Hamilton (based in Cleveland) was on hand to commend the dedicated team of staff members who led NOAS’s efforts in this area. The Seal was presented at the Hilton Downtown Cleveland.

NOAS is an independent, specialized adoption and foster care agency based out of Warren, Ohio, and has been in service since 1978. Throughout that time they have led innovations on ensuring family stability for youth throughout the region. NOAS prides itself on innovation — from ensuring family stability to maintaining sibling connections, the agency is looked to as an example by peers in Ohio and throughout the country. This same drive for innovative solutions to the needs of children is behind their work toward All Children – All Families’ Seal of Recognition.

NOAS earned the Seal of Recognition by meeting All Children – All Families’ 10 key Benchmarks of LGBTQ Cultural Competency.

“NOAS is so honored to be presented with the All Children All Families LEADER certification from the Human Rights Campaign!,” NOAS posted on Facebook. “We are so happy to be specially equipped to serve the LGBTQ community!”

If you would like to learn more about Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, please visit their website.

HRC Foundation’s All Children – All Families has guided agencies across the U.S. in improving practice with LGBTQ youth and parents for more than a decade. To learn more about the program’s practice improvement model and see a full list of participating agencies, visit hrc.org/acaf. To find LGBTQ-inclusive agencies in your area, check out the list of participating agencies.

Northeast Ohio Adoption Services, All Children All Families, HRC, LGBTQ, Ohio

Above: Eric Meinhart, Plexus; Luz Pellot, HRC Cleveland; Cheryl Tarantino, NOAS; Cynthia Wallis, NOAS; Suzanne Hamilton, HRC Cleveland, BoD; Thomas Hawn, Plexus.

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