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2013 – TAVA launches New Website

For Immediate Release:

Angela Brightfeather, TAVA’s President and one of the original cofounders,
stated that TAVA is reorganizing and will emerge stronger and more relevant
than ever. “For years our mission had been to get the Veterans Administration to
acknowledge the need for transgender health care,” Brightfeather
stated. “When the Veterans Administration addressed this need in
June 2011, we felt that the bulk of our mission has been accomplished. However recent events such as
the emergence of recent cases of Transgender service members, coping in
society after serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom
have brought to light the fact that we are more relevant than ever.”

TAVA’s mission statement has grown beyond addressing only Transgender Veterans.
“Our Mission statement will continue to address transgender healthcare in
the Veterans Administration, and also look to expand them.” Brightfeather
explained, “We will also address active transgender military service,
spouse and family support, and transgender veteran employment issues among
other things.” Primary of TAVA’s goals are a way to fund Gender
Reassignment Surgery through the Veterans Administration. “Theseveterans
served honorably, and in silence. This is an acknowledged medical
need and therefore it is incumbent upon the Veterans Administration to
find a way so that veterans can receive the proper medical care they
deserve. This includes Gender Reassignment Surgery.”

TAVA also looks to be front and center in the current research
regarding open Transgender military service. “TAVA intends to close
ranks with many of the organizations that are researching the issue of open
Transgender service and, as has been the case in the past, we will stand ready
to inform and educate the Department of Defense as to what our findings are,”
Brightfeather stated.

TAVA, a 501 c 3, is the only Transgender Veterans group in the United
States. “We have been at this for well over a decade and while we
have seen some significant improvements, particularly with the Veterans
Administration, there is still a lot of work to be done,” according to
Brightfeather. “We are looking to re-energize
our membership base going forward, while exploring ways to add more concrete
services to our membership.”

TAVA has launched our updated website, http://www.transveteran.org/, and will be sending out newsletters
which will be forwarded to membership.
Additionally, TAVA intends to reach out to more traditional
Veteran Service Organizations in order to build ties and also offer services to
transgender veterans that traditional venues may be reluctant to work with
due to lack of education and knowledge of resources. “The
transgender phenomena had its roots with military veterans,” according to
Dayna Walker, with TAVA Outreach. “Christine Jorgensen returned from
service in World War II and was the first person highly publicized to seek
Gender Reassignment Surgery in the United States. The fact that it’s been
nearly 70 years and our military, and society as a whole, are still struggling
with this issue indicates there is a huge need for an organization such as
this that can lead from the front and educate those that would be our
detractors.”

As TAVA relaunches,it seeks to bolster its ranks of not only veterans but those serving
on Active Duty. “The sensitivity of those serving silently is paramount, but at the same time we need to be able to develop statistics on transgender personnel serving in our armed forces,”
stated Brightfeather. TAVA intends to continue to safeguard it’s members
information and allow actively serving members of the military to have a voice
through this organization while safeguarding their privacy.

For more information, please visit http://www.transveteran.org/. Media
inquiries please contact media@transveteran.orgor call
718-849-5665, or outreach@transveteran.org, 813-504-6037

Evan Young

Evan Young is originally from Little Rock, Ark. He graduated basic training in 1989, transitioned from a sergeant to lieutenant in 1998, and rose to the rank of Major before retiring. In 1998, Evan graduated from Northwestern State University of Louisiana with a B.A. in English. From there, he continued his studies while on Active Duty and graduated from Nova Southeastern University in Florida with a M.S. in Management Information Systems. He earned his public affairs credentials in 2004 and broadcasting management credentials in 2007. He served in the Reserves, Guard, and Active Duty. He was the Hawaii National Guard as a Public Affairs officer and a Media Officer at NORAD and US NORTHCOM. Evan began transition in 2011. He retired from the Army as a Major in 2013. Since then he began his own web development company, EF Young, has written for OutServe magazine as a blogger, is the former president of the Arkansas Transgender Equality Coalition, and currently serves as the national president of the Transgender American Veterans Association. Evan currently lives in Dover, AR. with his two children.

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