Denis McDonough, the secretary of Veteran Affairs, is making a move that will see gender confirmation surgery become available for transgender veterans. The procedure will be covered by the health care of Veteran Affairs.
Gender Confirmation Surgery Will Be Revolutionary For Trans Veterans
The move was announced by McDonough on Saturday at Florida’s Vet Centre in Orlando. He said that the first important steps are being taken to expand the care under VA to include gender confirmation surgery. This will allow transgender veterans to fully undergo the process for gender confirmation with the VA by their will.
The change is a momentous shift in the care that transgender veterans are eligible for. The Transgender Equality National Center estimated that about 134,000 veterans are transgender. The package for health benefits from the VA currently covers hormone therapy and services for mental health. However, gender confirmation surgery had so far been excluded. The operation is considered an intervention that is medically necessary for those who experience gender dysphoria.
McDonough added that the decision was based on their clinicians’ recommendation. According to them, this is a decision regarding health care that has extreme impacts on physical as well as mental health.
Gender confirmation surgery refers to an operation series that often includes the reconstruction of sexual organs to match the anatomy of a person with their identified gender. At first, it was thought of as elective or cosmetic. However, research has shown that it is effective for those who are experiencing gender dysphoria.
McDonough added that their veterans from the LGBTQ+ community have not been given the normal care and respect for too long. However, this is propelling the VA to progress on that path to progress. He also added that the decision ultimately lay with President Joe Biden.