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Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) Gains Tax Exempt Status, Plans Growth

For Immediate Release: August 14, 2005
From: The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)
Media Contact: Robyn Walters
Contact Email: media@transveteran.org 
Contact Phone: 360 434-3042
Website: http://www.transveteran.org

The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) announces its approval as a tax exempt not for profit organization under article 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service tax code.  TAVA serves as an educational organization that assists Congress, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and the Department of Defense to better understand and respect transgender and intersexed service members and veterans.   TAVA also provides information and support for current and former military members, including guidance on how to best work with these organizations.

As a tax exempt organization, TAVA is in a stronger position to attract additional membership and financial resources needed to increase both its education efforts and its ability to support transgender and intersexed veterans and their families or other supporters.  The TAVA Board of Directors is engaged in planning the expansion of membership opportunities for service.

“Achieving the goal of being a 501(c)(3) organization for our transgender and intersexed U.S. veterans positions TAVA with other organizations as a national source for seeking fair and equal treatment for GLBT veterans who have served in the defense of our country both in the past and those presently serving,” said TAVA Special Projects Director Angela Brightfeather.  “It also provides the recognition and respect of transgender and intersexed Veterans that they deserve, by encouraging organizational growth and future support to those Veterans in need of such help.”

“It’s a thrill for me to see this organization grow as it has over the last two and a half years,” stated Monica Helms, President of TAVA.  “With our 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, we can now move forward to better help our transgender veterans to get the help and respect they deserve from the country they served proudly.”

TAVA Internet Director Darlene Strauch agreed, saying, “It’s such an honor to be a part of TAVA.   Veterans helping veterans.  I’m so excited to be able to do my share and to thank all of those who have helped to make this much needed organization a reality.”

To learn more about TAVA and what you can do to support transgender and intersexed service members and veterans, visit www.transveteran.org .   Membership and donation information can be found at the TAVA website.

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Founded in 2003, the Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) is a 501(c)(3) organization that acts proactively with other concerned LGBT organizations to ensure that transsexual and transgender veterans will receive appropriate care for medical conditions in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration Customer Service Standards promise to “treat you with courtesy and dignity … as the first class citizen that you are.”  Further, TAVA will help in educating the VA and the US military on issues regarding a fair and equal treatment of transgender and transsexual individuals.

Denny Meyer

Sgt. First Class Denny Meyer, the son of WWII Holocaust refugees, was reared bilingually in the mid 1940s postwar immigrant refugee community on New York City ‘s Upper West Side . His mother, he notes with pride, arrived at Ellis Island as an illegal alien fleeing Nazi persecution. She taught him that, “there is nothing more precious than American Freedom.”

He has been an activist for over 50 years, starting with his first march with the NAACP at the age of 13 in 1960, working for civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights and transgender rights for our military service members and veterans.

In 1968 he volunteered, “To pay my country back for my family’s freedom.” He served for ten years in two services; in the Navy aboard an aircraft carrier, in a Huey helicopter squadron HQ, at NATO US headquarters; and in specialized Army Reserve units; and served as an inter-agency liaison and negotiator.

Sgt. Denny has spoken at universities and colleges including Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Hofstra, and Lehman (CUNY) among other venues; combining history, humor, pathos, and anger to tell his story.

In addition to serving as TAVA’s Media Director, he is the national Public Affairs and Veterans Affairs officer of AVER and edits GayMilitarySignal.com.

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