LGBTQ+ Veteran care
Washington DC VA Medical Center employees seek to promote the health, welfare, and dignity of LGBTQ+ Veterans and their families. We are committed to providing affirming, accessible, and high-quality health care.
Connect with a care coordinator
Services available at Washington DC VA Medical Center
LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinators are a source of information, Veteran advocate and problem-solver for LGBTQ+ Veteran-related health care issues. They ensure effective, affirming Veteran-centered care for LGBTQ+ Veterans. Services include:
- LGBTQ+ Groups
- Affirming mental health care
- Affirming Whole Health services
- Affirming medical care
- Affirming recreation therapy
- Outreach and community engagement
- Gender-affirming services and prosthetics
- Gender-affirming voice and communication services
- HIV and STI testing, counseling, and care, including PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for Veterans at risk for HIV
LGBTQ+ policies and practices to know
The LGBTQ+ Veteran Care Coordinator can help you get started with care or with navigating any of these issues.
Changing name in records: Your name in your medical record will reflect your legal name. However, VA policy requires that we refer to you by the name that you prefer. It is required that VHA staff use the name you requested when addressing or referring to you, including in conversation and clinical notes. To have a preferred name added, you should contact registration and enrollment (National Guidance FAQs). You have the right to request that your name be updated. There are established procedures for changing your name with the VA Privacy Officer. Your LGBTQ+ VCC can provide assistance.
Changing birth sex in records: Your birth sex and gender identity are important parts of who you are that should be shared with your health care provider. By sharing this information with your provider, you are helping to ensure that you receive the highest quality care. Previously, your medical record had only one place for your birth sex and gender. Now, you can have both your birth sex and your gender identity in your medical record. If you wish to change your birth sex information after talking with your health care team, this is your right in the VA system (Birth Sex and Gender Identity Fact Sheet).
Sexual orientation and sexual health assessment: VA providers are asking you about your sexual orientation and sexual health to provide you with the health care that best meets your needs. This information will be part of your private, protected health record (Sexual Orientation and Sexual Health Fact Sheet).
Documentation in medical records: Washington DC VA Medical Center maintains the confidentiality of information about sexual orientation, sexual behavior, and gender identity, just like any other private health information.
Visitation: Your same-sex partner, family member, friend, or other individual can be present with you for emotional support during the course of your stay.
Definition of family: "Family" may include individual(s) not legally related to you. Family members include spouses, domestic partners, different-sex and same-sex significant others.
Advance directives: You may designate any person as a decision-maker for care if you won't be able to make these decisions yourself. This includes same-sex partners. Advance directive agents are chosen by you and do not need to be biologically related.
For more information visit VHA LGBTQ+ Patient Care Services.
- Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Veteran Health care
- Lesbian, Bisexual, and Queer Veteran Health care
- Nonbinary Veteran Health care
- Sexual Orientation and Sexual Health Veteran
- Trans Men and Masculine of Center (MOC) Veteran Health care
- Trans Women and Transfeminine Veteran Health care
Discharge Upgrade for LGBTQ+ and/or HIV positive Veterans
If you were other-than-honorably discharged due to your sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV-status under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy, then you may be eligible for VA benefits. How to Apply for a Discharge Upgrade