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Thread: Veterans transitioning

  1. #1
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    Veterans transitioning

    I am curious if any other vets are on this site and if so do they use the VA for trans issues or transitioning. If so, what has it been like? Called the LGBT office yesterday, but only heard a busy signal, may just be a really busy office? I will be there soon and may stop by, at least to see what things look like. I've seen a therapist that and psychiatrist who serve the LGBT community, but time, distance and cost have curtailed those visits.

  2. #2
    Hippo in a Tutu Leslie Mary S's Avatar
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    Yes I am a Vet. No I do not use the VA at all even though I have one right here in my town. It all is because of how they figure the coats. I presently have no disability on record. I am now discovering a disability as a result of my military years but is only now starting to be aggravated. I'm going deft at two frequencies common to the equipment I worked with.
    No I do not discuss anything with them since I don't go there either en femme or in drab.
    Leslie Mary Shy
    A Southern Belle.

    "For a lump of coal to become a diamond, it takes a lot of pressure, heat, and time."
    "The question is, can I, as a lump of poor coal, survive that heat, pressure, and time."

  3. #3
    susie evans susie evans's Avatar
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    Hi patti
    There is a girl in Ohio named Christi Hart who is a vet and has transitioned that goes to the VA she has a web site Christi ' s condo check with her

    Good luck Susie

  4. #4
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    Also a vet; not sure how one would go about looking for V A assistance.

  5. #5
    Transgender Person Pat (aka Jennie)'s Avatar
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    I also am a veteran and have wondered about this but never pursued it. I was Viet Nam era, but not a combat veteran so I always presumed they had nothing for me. I don't imagine they're widen their outreach in the current political climate.
    I am not a woman; I don't want to be a woman; I don't want to be mistaken for a woman.
    I am not a man; I don't want to be a man; I don't want to be mistaken for a man.
    I am a transgender person. And I'm still figuring out what that means.

  6. #6
    Bathing suits anyone? docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Viet Nam vets have full coverage. Even if u didn't serve over seas, Pat. I never left the States and they've been taking care of me for over 40 years. Everything except eye and tooth care!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  7. #7
    Aspiring Artist Kelly DeWinter's Avatar
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    The last I read "The Department of Veterans Affairs is calling off plans to allow sex reassignment surgeries for transgender veterans, citing budget concerns. " although it does provide hormone therapy.

    This is a fairly comprehensive site"
    http://transveteran.org/for-veterans/know-your-rights/
    Link

    Last edited by Kelly DeWinter; 04-20-2017 at 01:02 PM. Reason: More info
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  8. #8
    Isn't Life Grand? AllieSF's Avatar
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    I know several vets who are transitioning and some have used VA care for that, including counseling, hormones, but not sure about surgeries. Definitely contact them and ask. A couple of my friends have had very good experiences there.

  9. #9
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    My understanding is that it's available. I also understand from most of the anecdotal stuff I've read that they make you jump through every hoop and do every dance in an effort to dissuade you. I did hear of one woman who stated she'd found a particularly sympathetic representative, but most of what I've run across in regards to TS transition has been less than encouraging. Looks like anything beyond finally getting hormones covered, is nearly impossible to procure. Again, this is my experience with those I've experienced that have tried to get help. Of course, if it's your only option, it's obviously worth a try. Otherwise, it looks as though it may be a long term effort in futility. I wish fruition to anyone who tries and I am just sharing some apocryphal information I've gleaned along the path and as means of a cautionary tale.

  10. #10
    Budding and Blossoming Emma Beth's Avatar
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    I am a Vet and I do use the VA for my primary Transition care.

    I can clear up a few things.

    First and foremost. Get in and discuss it with your Primary Care Physician. Your Primary will coordinate everything. However, you will still have to take charge to a point. If you run into ANY difficulties regarding your care in ANY way. You can go to the Patient Advocacy Office on the premises, and they WILL fix any grievances you have with ANY staff member, your care, and any issues with getting started with some appointments. I know this because I spent quite a bit of time in that office in the beginning almost two years ago.

    Second, it is true that they will NOT cover any of the surgeries. However, they give very excellent care with everything else.

    I have been seeing my VA Therapist for well over a year now, and I have been seeing my Endocrinologist since the end of last August.

    Their policies on Trans care are rather specific and they are required to give you the same care they give every other Vet/patient. Just remember if ANY staff member gives you any issue for any reason, then you can turn to your Patient Advocate to address the problem.

    Currently I only spend $8 for each prescription, no matter what the prescription is; and that is all I have had to pay out of pocket for now.

    I hope my information has helped. If you have any other questions care through the VA, just ask me. If I don't know the answer, I can ask someone at my clinic and get back to you.
    "Stop whining. Woman up."
    Go Go, Big Hero 6

    "That's life. It's not always rainbows and farts. Sometimes the farts have a little something extra." -Emma

  11. #11
    Member Contessa's Avatar
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    Hi all who are Vets. I am a vet and have been to the VA for Transgender issues. There was a new offices opened here in Tucson. It is held at the VA women's health clinic. I went to find out what was up and how do I get involved with it. I ended up in a 5-7 hour mental assessment. Which due me I was allowed in. Only to find that I could go to weekly discussion group meetings. So I went to a few and decided that it wasn't worth it. I have stopped going and may not go back. It seems like there isn't really nothing the VA is willing to do for those in transition. If you can find use then use it. I have little to no use.
    [COLOR="blue"]Contessa Marie D

    I'm TG. A fem-male so I look male sometimes.

    Dressing is necessary, the type of clothes you wear not so much.

    This above all to thy own self be true!

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the replies. When I was at the VA hospital last week, one of their electronic billboards said that LGBTQ veterans could receive care. I did reach the office and was told to expect a call from one of their outreach clinics to get started. She said there is now a lot of movement in this area and seemed very professional. I'll at least give it a try and see what kind of experience I have. Once again thanks for all your replies.

  13. #13
    Member CD Tammy's Avatar
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    I have 21 years of service and a service connected disability rated at 100%. I try to use the VA as little as possible since I have private insurance. While the VA may be now posting signage and putting out information, we all know that showing up in a dress to my next physical probably would not be a real comfortable situation, for me.

  14. #14
    Member Juanita S's Avatar
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    I am a vet, I am going through transition, I am going through the transition with the help of the VA Hospital in Salt Lake city. The program there is great, I am getting my hormones and blocker, we have a group that meets twice a month and talk about how our transition are going, we have one on one with our mental health counselor
    I love being a girl

  15. #15
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    I am a Vietnam era vet and a transgender woman. Our VA hospital assigns trans women to their women's clinic. I go to all of my appointments as Leanne and receive wonderful treatment. Our local VA hospital is very sympathetic to trans women like myself. I don't know how it is for trans men though..............Leanne

  16. #16
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    Update, received a call yesterday from the VA for an appointment with a psychiatrist I assume for an evaluation. It is in just over a weeks time and will definitely post how it went. I am curious if any real help is available.

  17. #17
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    I had my first eval with the psychiatrist yesterday and was totally amazed. She was so pleasant and although the eval won't be finished until next visit in two weeks. She was patient, understanding was pleased to see me. She did tell me how I would be able to access endicronology, start HRT, use womens health clinic and would be elegible for breast enhancement after I had been on HRT for at least a year. I may have missed other services she may have mentioned, but go back in two weeks time. If this process is as pleasant as yesterday was, I may go farther along transitioning than I'd ever imagined I would, but time will tell. I was stunned, by her demeanor, services available and all I can say is wow. Leanne my visit was as you described. wonderful. The clinic is very sympathetic. Looking forward to my next visit.

  18. #18
    Budding and Blossoming Emma Beth's Avatar
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    I wonder if that is a location thing. I was told by my psychiatrist that the VA only did HRT and nothing else was covered.

    I will admit that everything is very pleasant none the less.
    "Stop whining. Woman up."
    Go Go, Big Hero 6

    "That's life. It's not always rainbows and farts. Sometimes the farts have a little something extra." -Emma

  19. #19
    Junior Member Karyn Marie's Avatar
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    I want to second what Emma has said. I too am a veteran and have been going to the VA at American Lake in Lakewood, WA. for about 9 months to start my transition from male to female. I have been seeing one counselor/psych for much of that time. She has been excellent, and very encouraging to me. She has scheduled me to see an endocrinologist for HRT, which has already happened and he prescribed hormones. I am so excited about that. She has also referred me to a couple of support groups at the VA for me to be a part of. I have not been able to go as of yet due to my work schedule, however I am off during the summers so will attend once school is out. The group she has highly recommended to me is a transsexual group that have both trans men and trans women. I am so excited about that and am looking forward to meeting many new friends. I have learned the VA will do everything up to, but not including, Sex Reassignment Surgery, but I have been told it may be something the VA will do sometime in the near future. I am truly hoping so. They have sessions that include voice feminization, and how to act and appear feminine. They will also perform castration as well. I hope this clears up some questions you have in addition to what Emma has said. I don't know if all the VA facilities have access to these services, but they do offer them at American Lake and at the VA Hospital in Seattle. So far, I have been very very happy and satisfied with all the VA has done for me in my journey so far.

  20. #20
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    VA and transitioning vets

    Had my 2nd visit with the VA psychiatrist and went well. She's referring me to the endocrinologist for getting the blood work taken so I can get started on HRT, contacting my VA primary care Dr and setting up an appointment with a voice specialist to work on my developing a feminine register. This seems like enough to start with at this time so I feel good about getting started. Just wondering how anyone else using the VA, do you have private ins, or do you just pay out of pocket or some other way for the cost?

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