The American Military Partner Association (AMPA), the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) military families has welcomed the news that the U.S. Department of Veterans (VA) is proposing a rule change to lift its outdated ban on gender confirmation surgery for transgender veterans.
“This is incredibly welcome news for so many transgender veterans and their families,” said AMPA President Ashley Broadway-Mack. “So many veterans rely on the VA for important medical care that they have earned serving our nation, including transgender veterans. Gender confirmation surgery is often a critically important and medically necessary treatment for transgender veterans, and lifting this ban is long overdue.”
The proposed rule change states in part, “Due to the prior limited knowledge about both gender dysphoria and effective transition-related procedures, surgical procedures in particular were not deemed to be medically necessary. However, increased understanding of both gender dysphoria and surgical techniques in this area have improved significantly, and surgical procedures are now widely accepted in the medical community as medically necessary treatment for gender dysphoria. Additionally, recent medical research shows that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that has had severe medical consequences for certain patients if transition-related surgeries and procedures are not provided. In light of these medical advances and recent research, VA would revise its regulation to remove the prohibition on medical services that are considered gender alterations. In this way, medical decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis about what procedures are medically necessary to treat gender dysphoria.”