VA recognizes March 21-25 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) Health Awareness Week and March 31 as Transgender Day of Visibility.
VA is working to become a national leader in health care for all Veterans, including LGBTQ+ Veterans. VA strives to provide high-quality care in respectful environments nationwide.
As a result of stigma, stress, and discrimination, Veterans with LGBTQ+ identities face increased stressors, health risks, and unique challenges in accessing health care. We want Veterans to be comfortable talking with their VA providers about all aspects of their lives so that VA can offer the best care possible.
“All Veterans, all people, have a basic right to be identified as they define themselves. This is essential for their general wellbeing and overall health,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Knowing the gender identity of our patients helps us better understand the population we serve.”
While coming out is a personal choice, being open and honest about your sexual orientation, gender identity, and sexual practices with your VA providers is an essential step toward achieving optimal health and wellbeing. Being open with your providers helps them personalize your care plan to meet your unique needs and improve your healthcare experience. VA encourages Veterans to talk about all aspects of their lives with their providers, including sexual orientation and gender identity, so that we can provide the best care possible. Conversations and the information you share with your VA provider are confidential.
In the fact sheets below, learn more about health risks and why you should talk to your provider about your sexual orientation identity, birth sex, and self-identified gender identity.
We invite you to check out the Subscribe to our LGBTQ+ email list and never miss an update. You can also find your local facility’s LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator or visit our Patient Care Services LGBTQ+ Health program office website for more information on available health care services, online training, policies, research, and resources.