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Veterans Affairs to Offer Gender Confirming Surgery to Trans Veterans

Veterans Affairs to Offer Gender Confirming Surgery to Trans Veterans

Secretary Denis McDonough

The Department of Veteran Affairs said it would take years to implement the policy change.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough announced on Saturday that the V.A. will offer gender confirmation surgery to trans veterans.

McDonough cautioned that the change would take time, according to The New York Times.

"This process will require changing V.A.'s regulations and establishing policy that will ensure the equitable treatment and safety of transgender veterans," McDonough said at a Pride event at the Orlando Vet Center.

Internal estimates have shown that fewer than 4,000 veterans would be interested, reported the outlet.

There are over 134,000 trans veterans according to figures from the National Center for Transgender Equality.

"We are taking the first necessary steps to expand VA's care to include gender confirmation surgery -- thereby allowing transgender vets to go through the full gender confirmation process with VA at their side," McDonough said, reported CNN.

The announcement is just the latest pro-LGBTQ+ step the Biden administration has taken. President Joe Biden has not only signed an executive order to protect LGBTQ+ from discrimination, but his administration has come out against recent anti-trans laws that have emerged across the country targeting trans youth.

Biden repealed Donald Trump's ban on trans service members on his fifth day in office.

"The vestiges of bigotry remain," McDonough said on Saturday. He also announced that the V.A. was changing the name of the LGBTQ Health Program to the LGBTQ+ Health Program. "Even something as simple as displaying V.A.-specific rainbow magnets has proven to make our hospitals more welcoming," McDonough explained.

McDonough said that the department's change came from consultation with medical experts, according to NBC News.

"We're making these changes not only because they are the right thing to do, but because they can save lives," he said.

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