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New Transgender Veterans Survey

For Immediate Release: December 12, 2007

From:  The Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA)
Contact:  Monica F. Helms, President
Contact Email: president@transveteran.org
Website:  http://www.transveteran.org

A new survey has been created to achieve a more accurate picture of the state of the transgender American veteran population. Many of the issues facing transgender veterans are no different than those facing the rest of the transgender community. However negotiating healthcare thru the Veterans Administration and dealing with the Department of Defense poses its own unique set of challenges. This survey is also for those transgender people who are still serving in the military and those veterans who identify and are diagnosed as intersex.

The detailed survey of 117 short questions only takes between ten and twenty minutes of your time and it is the first of its kind to be undertaken. Many of the questions have several choices to them, but just a few will take multiple answers. A large percentage of the questions are a simple “Yes/No.” Some require a written response. While transgender veterans who do not, or have not ever used the VA for their medical needs, can skip that entire section.

The survey can be accessed at:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=SpQUvMM5ZvidQ8hNGCcIQA_3d_3d

TAVA would appreciate as many transgender/ intersex veterans and active duty service members to take this survey as possible. If anyone knows of a transgender veteran who does not have access to a computer, then please help them log on at a local library or community center so TAVA can obtain their responses as well. The answers to this survey will not only help veterans’ organizations in providing assistance to their transgender members, but it will benefit other organizations from the answers not having to do with the military. Since there are no questions about personal contact information, this survey is completely confidential. For additional inquiries about this survey, please contact the Transgender American Veterans Association at: info@transveteran.org or go to our web site at www.transveteran.org.

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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 civil rights and human rights organizations to ensure that transgender veterans will receive appropriate care for their medical conditions in accordance with the Veterans Health Administration’ s 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 Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and the Department of Defense (DoD) on issues regarding fair and equal treatment of transgender individuals. Also, TAVA will help the general transgender community when deemed appropriate and within the IRS guidelines.

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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