Transgender American Veteran's Association

T ransgender A merican
V eterans A ssociation

Who we are

The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) was formed to address the growing concerns of fair and equal treatment of Transgender Military Veterans and Active Duty service members.

What we do

Advocate for open Trans Military service, Secure benefits for Trans Service Members, Spouses and Family, Continued improvement of Trans well-being through the VA system and Tricare, Advocate for Trans Vet employment


TAVA serves as an educational organization that has helped the Veterans Administration and the Department of Defense to better understand the 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.

TAVA National President Named to the Trans 100 List

For Immediate Release: Chicago, IL. – March 29, 2015. From a frenzied crowd, broadcast live on the Internet, the Trans 100 list was read with much anticipation. TAVA National President Evan Young was honored on the Trans 100 list of 2015. “I am deeply humbled that the organizations that I represent, TAVA, ArTEC, and SPART*A […]

The Fighter by Sheri Swokowski

From “The Fighter,” by Sheri A. Swokowski, March/April 2015, Our Lives Magazine, 8(5), p. 14-23. Copyright 2015 by Life in the Middle Publishing, LLC. Reprinted with permission. The Fighter Sitting in the third row of the Pentagon auditorium last summer felt different. I had been there a dozen times before while a Senior Analyst for […]

TAVA Elects New Board Members

In mid February 2015, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) brought two highly experienced, patriotic veterans to our board; enhancing our outreach and mission of serving America’s transgender veterans and advocating for our benefits and for the honor, duty, and right to serve. Major Kimberly Moore is a 20-year Marine Veteran and is an active […]

Changing your name on your DD-214

Recent litigation has made it possible for veterans to change their name on the DD-214 form. Although current regulations restrict the ability of transgender individuals to serve openly, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS) showed that 20% of transgender adults are veterans who have served in the military at some point. As transgender vets know, […]

A Veterans Day Message from TAVA President Dayna Walker and the Board of Directors

Dear Transgender American Veteran Members, Families, Friends and Allies: This past year has seen some major advances in the acceptance and understanding of the Transgender journey. At the core of this has been a movement by organizations such as TAVA which work daily to advance the front on behalf of Transgender Veterans and their families. […]

Transgender American Veterans Association Completes Transition with Installation of New Officers

Washington, D.C., October 24, 2014- Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) has completed a year -long transformation process with the installation of new officers at its Board of Directors meeting last week. TAVA has worked diligently over the last year to put a new face on the organization which has included updates to its Website and […]

Arbitrary and Capricious: Six Inconsistencies Distinguishing Military Medical Policies for Transgender and Non-Transgender Personnel

By Diane H. Mazur Download the full 52 page report HERE. The March 2014 Report of the Transgender Military Service Commission concluded “there is no compelling medical rationale for banning transgender military service.” The Commission, chaired by former U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, M.D., and retired Rear Admiral Alan M. Steinman, M.D., found that the […]

TAVA Celebrates National Coming Out Day

On October 11th, we observe the 26th annual National Coming Out Day, commemorated each year on the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. National Coming Out Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the importance of being able to live openly and honestly, both in our personal lives […]

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About us

Our Mission, Goals, Vision, and Plan Of Action


Founded in 2003, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is a 501 (c) 3 organization that acts proactively with other concerned gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) organizations to ensure that transgender veterans will receive appropriate care for their medical conditions in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration’s Customer Service Standards promise to “treat you with courtesy and dignity . . . as the first class citizen that you are.”   Further, TAVA will help in educating the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) on issues regarding fair and equal treatment of transgender and transsexual individuals.  Also, TAVA will help the general transgender community when deemed appropriate.


Transgender American Veterans Association goals include:
1.  Treatment of veterans who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder (GID) with the dignity promised those who have served our country.
2.  Provision of authorized medical and mental health services to veterans without regard to their history of GID.
3.  Provision of GID-related medical and mental health to veterans in accordance with the Benjamin Standards of Care.
4.  Assist any GLBT organization who helps active duty transgender and transsexual persons by providing detailed insight to these issues.
5.  To partner with any group or organization for the betterment of all American veterans, regardless of their transgender status.


Our organization will endeavor to work with the VA, Congress, interested veterans, veterans groups, active duty military personal and GLBT groups to influence Public Law, as well as VA and military policy, regulations, and procedures, to the end of covering the medical and psychological needs of veterans suffering from Gender Identity Disorder.  In attempting to improve veteran care for all transsexual and transgendered veterans, the organization will follow a policy of causing no harm to veterans or VA clinics or staff that currently provides such care for veterans.  We extend this policy to ensure we cause no harm to any active duty military personal by keeping their issues in a strict confidence.

Plan Of Action

Research current law and VA regulations and policy concerning treatment related to Gender Identity Disorder [DSM IV, Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood (302.6), Adolescence, or Adulthood (302.85), or Gender Identity Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (GIDNOS) (302.6)].

Gather and analyze valid demographic data concerning denial of service to veterans due to acknowledged or suspected GID.

The range and depth of Benjamin Standards of Care treatment provided for preoperative, postoperative, and nonoperative transsexuals in the various VA regions and health care facilities, including denial of GID-related medical and mental health care.

Determine a course of action to eliminate denial of authorized services to veterans due to their having GID.

Determine and describe GID treatment shortcomings.

Develop a reasonable set of treatment options for veterans with GID.

Determine impediments to VA provision of adequate treatment for veterans with GID, including, but not limited to, Public Law, VA regulations, attitude of local VA managers, and lack of staff education.

Develop recommended changes to Public Law and/or VA policy and procedures.

Develop a plan to educate for changes to law, policy, and procedures.

Develop consensus among Veterans Groups of the validity of both the needed changes and the methods for making change.

Institute action by a coalition of groups to bring necessary changes to fruition.