LGBTQ+ Veteran care
VA Madison health care employees receive training in clinical care that is responsive to the unique needs of LGBTQ+ Veterans and are fully equipped to support the health, welfare and dignity of you and your family.
Connect with a care coordinator
Care we provide at VA Madison health care
We promote the health, welfare and dignity of Veterans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ+) or a related identity. As a result of stigma, stress and discrimination, LGBTQ+ Veterans face increased health risks and unique challenges in health care. We want you to be comfortable talking with your VA providers about all aspects of your life so we can offer you the best care possible. We focus on providing a welcoming environment when providing you with affirming and high-quality health care services like:
- Mental health services, including psychosocial assessments for hormone therapy and gender affirming surgeries
- Creative Art Therapy
- Gender-Affirming Prosthetics
- Gender-Affirming Hormone Therapy
- Substance Use/Alcohol Treatment
- Tobacco Use Treatment
- Treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for Veterans at risk for HIV
- Intimate partner violence reduction and treatment of aftereffects
- Military sexual trauma screening and treatment of aftereffects
- Suicide prevention services. If you are in crisis, call the 24-hour Crisis Hotline at 988 (option 1) or visit the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Heart health
- Whole Health
- Cancer screening, prevention and treatment
- Infertility: VA is committed to helping Veterans navigate challenges that may arise from issues with fertility and the conception of a child.
- Other prevention, screening, wellness and testing services
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:
- Trans Men and Masculine of Center (MOC) Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Trans Women and Transfeminine Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Veteran Health Care For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Queer Women (PDF)
- Veteran Health Care For Gay, Bisexual, & Queer Men (PDF)
- Nonbinary Veteran Health Care Fact Sheet (PDF)
Policies and practices to know
The care coordinator can help you get started with care or with navigating any of these issues.
Veterans may designate any person as a decision-maker for care if they aren’t able to make these decisions themselves. This includes same-sex partners.
Changing your name or birth sex in your medical record
Birth Sex Field: The birth sex in your medical record should reflect your self-identified gender. You have the right to request that your birth sex be updated as appropriate. There are established procedures for changing your birth sex with the VA privacy oficer.
Legal Name: Your medical record will reflect your legal name. If you have legally changed your name, it is important to update your medical record. There are established procedures for changing your legal name with the VA privacy officer.
Preferred Name: You can update your preferred name in your medical record which will appear in parenthesis by your legal name [example: John (Jo) Smith]. There are two ways to update your preferred name. First you can update your preferred name by updating your information with registration. The second way you can update your preferred name is by going to VA.gov, log in to your profile and update your preferred name. Updating your preferred name does not require any documentation.
Documentation in medical records
VA Madison maintains confidentiality of information regarding sexual orientation, sexual behavior, gender identity and gender expression, just like any other private health information. You can request that this information not be entered into your medical record.
Sexual Orientation Annual Reminder: Asking about sexual orientation is part of a routine health assessment. Your VA providers will ask about your sexual orientation in order to better understand your social and health concerns to provide you with the most comprehensive, affirming health care.
Gender Identity: There are two ways to update your gender identity. First, you can update your information with registration. The second way is by visiting VA.gov, log in to your profile and update your gender identity. Updating your gender identity does not require any documentation.
Definition of family
“Family” may include individual(s) not legally related to the individual. Family members include spouses, domestic partners, and different-sex and same-sex significant others.
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.
It is VHA policy that all staff, clinical and administrative, refer to Veterans by their pronouns both in verbal communication and in documentation.
You will be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect as an individual. Consistent with Federal law, VA policy, and accreditation standards of The Joint Commission, you will not be subject to discrimination for any reason, including for reasons of age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.
Resources and support
- Transgender Care Coordination - External Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (va.gov)
- Coming Out to Your Health Care Provider
- Lesbian, Gay Bisexual & Transgender Queer Questioning + (LGBTQ+) Service Members and Veterans
- How to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade
- Sexual Orientation and Sexual Health Veteran Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Birth Sex and Self-Identified Gender Identity Fact Sheet (PDF)