LGBTQ+ Veteran care
VA Durham health care employees receive training in clinical care that is responsive to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ Veterans. Our trained LGBTQ+ Veteran care coordinators are fully equipped to support the health, welfare, and dignity of you and your family.
Connect with a care coordinator
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA) is committed to providing quality care to all Veterans inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) Veterans. Excellent care has no boundaries.
LGBT refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender identities. The ‘Q’ refers to queer identities, as well as those who are questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. The + sign is meant to be inclusive of sexual orientations and gender identities beyond LGBT, including pansexual, asexual, agender, gender non-conforming, gender diverse, nonbinary, gender neutral and other identities.
Durham VA Health Care System seeks to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of LGBTQ+ Veterans and their families. We are committed to making sensitive and high-quality health care accessible. Our employees are prepared to provide personalized, patient-centered care in a safe, affirming, and welcoming environment.
LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) Program
Every VA facility has a local LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) who can connect you with services and help you navigate specialized resources.
To learn important information about the unique health risks of LGBTQ+ Veterans, download these relevant fact sheets. Here you can also find information about relevant services offered by VA.
Care we provide at VA Durham
We promote the health, welfare, and dignity of Veterans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) or a related identity. We focus on ensuring a safe, welcoming, and affirmative environment when providing you with sensitive and high-quality health care services like:
- Mental health services, including psychosocial assessments for hormone therapy and gender confirming surgeries
- Creative arts therapies
- Hormone therapy
- Gender-affirming prosthetics
- Testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections, counseling, and care, including post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for Veterans at risk for HIV
- Other prevention, screening, wellness, and testing services
Policies and practices to know
The care coordinator can help you get started with care or with navigating any of these issues.
Visitation: A same-sex partner, family member, friend, or other individual can be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of the patient's stay.
Definition of family: "Family" may include individual(s) not legally related to the individual. Family members include spouses, domestic partners, different-sex and same-sex significant others.
Advance directives: Veterans may designate any person as a decision-maker for care if they won't be able to make these decisions themselves. This includes same-sex partners. Advance directive agents are chosen by the Veteran and do not need to be biologically related.
Documentation in medical records: VA Durham maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and gender identity, just like any other private health information.
Changing name or sex in records: Your name in your medical record will reflect your legal name. The sex in your medical record should reflect your self-identified gender. You have the right to request that your name and sex are updated as appropriate. There are established procedures for changing your name and sex with the VA Privacy Officer.