Michael Austin June 22, 2021
The Biden administration will now be offering gender transition services to transgender veterans.
During a Pride event held in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday, Denis McDonough — the secretary of veteran affairs — announced the Department of Veterans Affairs plans to offer transgender veterans “gender confirmation” surgery, according to The New York Times.
The new policy aims to ensure transgender individuals receive “equitable treatment,” McDonough said.
He also noted the treatments for transgender veterans have been “deserved for some time,” adding the “vestiges of bigotry” remain at the V.A. and must be removed under President Joe Biden’s administration.
“Even something as simple as displaying V.A.-specific rainbow magnets has proven to make our hospitals more welcoming,” McDonough said, “signaling to L.G.T.B.Q.+ vets that we are here for them.”
According to an estimate from the National Center for Transgender Equality, there are more than 134,000 transgender veterans in the U.S.
How much it will cost to provide the “gender-affirming” care to this pool of individuals remains to be seen, but it will depend on whether the services are provided by outside partners or directly through the Veterans Affairs Department, according to The Times.