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Recognizing LGBTQ+ Veterans During Pride Month


During Pride Month, learn how we're creating a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ Veterans.

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Why this matters to you

At VA, we're committed to providing quality care and services to all Veterans, including those with LGBTQ+ identities. We also continue to expand the services we offer to address the specific concerns and needs of LGBTQ+ Veterans--and to deliver these services free of shame, fear, or stigma.

This page is for


  • All Veterans
  • Family members and caregivers
  • LGBTQ Veterans

What you can do

VA Services

LGBTQ+ Veterans have access to a wide array of services offered by the VA, from health care to home loans. Additionally, some LGBTQ+ Veterans may be able to receive discharge upgrades that would make them eligible for these services. Click the links below to find out more.

A doctor speaks to a patient

Patient Care

There is a wide array of healthcare services available to Veterans through the VA, including programs that are tailored specifically to their needs. Click here to learn more about these programs, find the LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator (VCC) at the facility near you, and find out how to enroll in VA care.

Hand holding a ribbon made of the American and Pride flags

Benefits

LGBTQ+ Veterans and their families have access to programs and services through the VA, such as home loans, employment programs, or life insurance. Click here to learn about these programs and how to apply.

A smiling military couple sitting in front of a house

Discharge Upgrades

Countless Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Veterans have been forced out of the military with "bad papers" simply for who they are, making them ineligible for VA services. Today, Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Veterans who received other-than-honorable discharge for their sexuality may be eligible for a discharge upgrade. Click here to learn more.

Video

LGBTQ+ Veterans living open, healthy lives

4:56 minutes • March 12, 2018

Throughout much of the military's history, LGBTQ+ Veterans had to hide their identities while serving in the military. This sometimes led to stress, alcohol problems, depression, and other challenges. Hear how some of them began to live openly and regain their self-esteem with the support of their communities and VA professionals.

Spotlight

Stories from the field: How we care for LGBTQ+ Veterans

Like most Veterans, the most important interaction LGBTQ+ Veterans have with VA is through their day-to-day interaction with their providers at medical centers across the country. Read below on how dedicated VA staff are working to improve the VA experience of LGBTQ+ Veterans across the country. Find your LGBTQ+ Care Coordinator

PRIDE program helps employees better care for LGBTQ+ Veterans

Read about a VA training program that helps employees improve their interaction with LGBT Veterans and to better assist them as they seek access to VA programs.

Visibility and care for those who served in the shadows

Meet Dr. Christopher Holland-Deguire, an LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator who is working hard to improve the LGBTQ+ Veteran experience at the VA North Texas Health System.

Podcast highlights "LGBTQ Care in the VA"

Dr. Jillian Shipherd, LGBTQ+ Health Program Director at VA Central Office, discusses the ongoing efforts and strategies in VHA to provide inclusive and affirming care for Veterans with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and related identities.

Stories

Spotlight on LGBTQ+ Veterans Making a Difference

During Pride Month, we celebrate the impact that many LGBTQ+ Veterans make to the quality of life of all Veterans. Here are a few inspiring stories of LGBTQ+ Veterans who are living their truth, fighting for equality and access for all.

Veteran committed to advocacy for equal rights

After serving 10 years in the Navy, Vietnam Veteran Denny Meyer has dedicated his life to fighting on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community and ensuring equal access to benefits for LGBTQ+ service members and Veterans.

Transgender advocate brings personal tale to Veterans

Army Veteran and former Maryland State Guard NCO Soldier of the Year Karen Kendra Holmes uses her personal story to empower others to live their truth and to advocate for increased visibility for the trans community.

VA Benefits

Learn about the benefits you may qualify for as a spouse, dependent, or survivor. And find out what you're eligible for as a family member caring for a Veteran with disabilities.

Apply for VA health care, find out how to access services, and manage your health and benefits online.

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